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Regional Creative Capacity and Creative Tourism Development. The Case of Cultural Associations in Peripheral Areas

Sevasti Malisiova ,* and Stella Kostopoulou
Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
These authors contributed equally to this work.
For correspondence.
Highlights of Sustainability, 2023, 2(4), 241–258.
Received: 31 May 2023    Accepted: 3 November 2023    Published: 11 November 2023
This article is part of the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism.
Creative Capacity (RCC) is a dynamic research topic that integrates authentic creativity, indigenous knowledge, innovation, entrepreneurship, and networking. RCC is a valuable tool for regional policy makers to achieve economic growth, tourism development, and social cohesion in peripheral areas. Cultural Associations, especially in remote areas, serve as “authentic organizations” related to local culture and traditions that support regional uniqueness, identity, and authenticity, and foster creative capacity through various cultural activities (non-typical museums, local cultural events and festivals, revival of customs, rituals, gastronomy, craft etc.). Nowadays, tourists are increasingly seeking “authentic” cultural tourism experiences that require active participation and co-creation in the community’s customs and manifestations. Therefore, cultural associations can be examined within the broader perspective of creative tourism. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the dynamics of cultural associations can function as a mechanism to encourage creative tourism in peripheral communities, using four creativity criteria: people, process, product, and environment. The study also aims to examine networking opportunities of cultural associations based on three criteria: administrative, spatial and functional, and to propose novel local creative tourism networks. The qualitative research method employed is a case study approach with structured observation, document analysis, and in-depth interviews with nineteen Cultural Associations in the Regional Unit of Rodopi in Northern Greece. Research findings reveal a strong potential for the development of creative tourism in the broader area with highlighted perspectives and options for further action, while emphasizing the need for networking of cultural associations.
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Copyright © 2023 Malisiova and Kostopoulou. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use and distribution provided that the original work is properly cited.
The implementation of the doctoral thesis was co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund-ESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning» in the context of the Act “Enhancing Human Resources Research Potential by undertaking a Doctoral Research” Sub-action 2: IKY Scholarship Programme for PhD candidates in the Greek Universities.
Cite this Article
Malisiova, S., & Kostopoulou, S. (2023). Regional Creative Capacity and Creative Tourism Development. The Case of Cultural Associations in Peripheral Areas. Highlights of Sustainability, 2(4), 241–258.
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