TTC Special: Are innovations in global cultural tourism enough?

Foto: Música en La Habana, ciudad creativa de la UNESCO desde 2019. Pixabay/ hoeldino

by Frank Martin

Specialists in global international tourism affirm that the multiple innovations in the cultural modality are currently key pieces in an important and general effort that benefits the full recovery of that industry.

One of the reasons for this statement is that each destination on the planet behaves with its own culture and usually prioritizes it when it comes to opening up to visitors, showing the angles of the predominant human personality and the diverse ways of living and thinking.

It is no secret that cultural tourism is -and has to be- very creative as well as traditional.

The decade before the outbreak of the global pandemic in 2020 was marked by many cultural firsts, including the advancement of technology in general. This benefits multiple innovations.

At present, when the world of tourism is struggling to achieve a greater speed of restoration after almost derailing, specialists and large international organizations believe that tradition, innovation and creativity give cultural tourism the condition of being the key to success. .

Other very traditional organisms in the cultural branch, such as UNESCO, have already expressed for some years that for the development of sustainable tourism it is necessary to integrate cultural and natural values.

Since 2016, the World Tourism Organization supports general objectives in the field of cultural tourism, the main ones being inclusive and sustainable and enriching the socioeconomic development of local communities, improving their well-being.

There is already a conviction that it is fundamental in the process of general enrichment of world tourism to promote both the identity of each destination and intercultural exchanges between visitors and the community they visit.

In this concept, creative tourism prevails.

Creativity can be a spiritual and personal gift, but in the tourism industry it translates into interactivity between the destination and visitors.

A visitor on vacation may need,  to integrate into the destinations, developing a creative potential, absorbing the vital cultural essence of the places.

With this idea, UNESCO promoted the so-called Creative Cities Network two decades ago to promote cooperation towards and between cities that identify creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

These peculiar city concepts include seven creative fields that are digital arts, crafts and popular arts, cinema, design, gastronomy, literature and music.

In this program there are frequent days of open workshops, cultural and creative industries districts and even shops that allow specialized purchases in design, fashion and contemporary art establishments, for example.

The islands of the Caribbean Sea are integrated into these programs.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) called to promote an industry that benefits education, employment, health and supports other important sectors to improve the quality of life.

The so-called Caribbean in this sense affirmed that these concepts are at a great moment conducive to new ideas, methods and products, proposing innovative thinking.

A fundamental idea in the process is that the islands share, in addition to beaches and music, very special cultural forms, with their own enthusiasm.

In the economic and financial profile, the leisure industry has a lot to gain from cultural tourism, initiative and creativity.

Forecasts indicate that the financial size of the cultural tourism market will already be multi-billion in 2030.