Co-creation by CCIs and residents for Creative Tourism experiences reflecting local identity, heritage and culture, towards competitiveness of local SMEs CCIs
Ibiza has relied on seasonal tourism, despite that has many assets to bet on sustainable tourism, and more particularly in mid and low seasons, when its climate is warm, although not enough for beach tourism. Its main attractive is its singular culture. The Island has been preserving its tangible and intangible heritage from the Phoenicians, to the contemporary period, keeping alive all the traditional celebrations and attracting artists and creative people.
For these reasons, the Ibiza Island Council launched the Ibiza Creativa program, with the aim of diversifying its offer on the low season, by creating a new segment based on its DNA. This circular approach enabled to create new offers and reach new targets, by just “recycling” existing cultural and creative resources.
The most valuable aspect of this project has been the process through which local stakeholders of all kind, had the opportunity to be trained in order to co-create their own creative experiences, in most of the cases, by collaborating with other local partners.
In addition to hardware (infrastructures) and software (CCIs, intangible creative resources), the orgware was key in this project’s achievement. This was facilitated by a perfect collaboration between the local government, a private company responsible for the coordination, the active involvement of local stakeholders and the mentoring of the Creative Tourism Network® to both train the participants and adapt their offer to the market’s criteria.
Human resources consisted of the administrative services of the public administration headed by a couple of civil servants + two private experts in events and tourism to cover the local networking and daily coordination, training, digital tools, promotion, mentoring of Creative Tourism Network®.
Evidence of success
More than 35 creative experiences co-designed by the local stakeholders, throughout the training and workshops, added to creative spaces, adapted to offer for foreign creative entrepreneurs and SME’s. They all offer the guaranty of authenticity, quality and adequacy with the international creative tourism market, besides reflecting all together, the Ibiza’s DNA and an ecosystem for the sector (perfect balance between CCIs).
100 SMEs training, workshops and mentoring sessions, for empowerment.
The main challenge could have been to gather so diverse stakeholders in a same program. Indeed, besides the complexity of the professional and personal relationships and especially in an Island, it was not easy to address the same message, to professionals from art, crafts, CCIs, tourism, services.
Potential for learning or transfer
A good practice of this programme has been to invite the whole Ibizian residents to participate. They were first surprised to be proposed to participate actively in the tourist strategy of their Island, but they really assumed such a responsibility by sharing the best of them with other partners or even old competitors. This led to the co-creation of a very wide array of creative tourism experiences, that are reflecting the today identity of the Island, while the risk was to pass from the mass tourism to a folklorization of the historical heritage and traditions. Thanks to this, Ibiza Creativa aims to limitless targets, and has set the bases to develop creative hubs that benefit even more to CCIs through its SMEs increased competitiveness.
The above experience of Ibiza Creative is highly suitable for policy learning & potential transfer to other tourist destinations, in diversifying their tourism products through Creative Tourism development, based on CCIs for more competitive SMEs.
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