International Conference: 11 to 13 October 2017: Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

The United Nations has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In this context, this conference will explore the place and roles of culture within sustainable tourism and local sustainable development. The Culture, Sustainability, and Place: Innovative Approaches for Tourism Development conference  follows from transdisciplinary work on investigating cultural sustainability across Europe and other international efforts to highlight and understand the roles of culture in sustainable development, and to develop and strengthen our cultural bridges to nature. It aims to bring together artists working with ecological and sustainability issues, cultural heritage and cultural sustainability researchers, local development actors, and tourism practitioners. It will shine a spotlight on issues and approaches to operationalize the inclusion of culture in sustainable tourism for local and regional development, within a co-learning interdisciplinary context.

A wide range of papers and workshops will address the topic of innovative approaches to culture in sustainable tourism for local and regional development. The event components are:

  • Keynotes
  • Plenary panel sessions with discussions among researchers, artists/creators, and practitioners
  • Thema tic presentation and exchange sessions
  • Interactive workshop sessions and pre-conferences based on place-based artistic practices
  • Professional development seminars (focused on linking cultural/creative and tourism initiatives)

The key themes of the conference are:

  • Culture–nature connections
  • Relationships between cultural sustainability and environmental sustainability
  • Cultural trends in sustainable tourism
  • Tourism as a vehicle to explore cultural landscapes and heritage
  • Tourism experiences and the sustainable representation of authenticity
  • Cultural mapping and deep mapping as tools for sustainable tourism development
  • Artistic inquiry into issues of sustainable culture and tourism
  • Understanding place through creative activities and expressions
  • Representations of heritage through a cultural tourism lens
  • The relationship between sustainable tourism and local development
  • Cultural sustainability and tourism
  • Relationships between artistic practice, audience development, and tourism
  • Linking cultural/creative and environmental tourism initiatives
  • Gastronomy, culture, and place

 See the conference program here:

 My presentation at the conference: “Creative Entrepreneurs and Crossovers Innovations: Catalysts for Sustainable Tourism Development at the Local Level”

In the field of tourism, creative entrepreneurs are the ones who start with an innovative idea, use hidden resources, fulfill a market gap or answer to an existing opportunity. They frequently organize their new venture in areas such as food and beverage services, accommodations, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services, which could begin locally and expand. These entrepreneurs create intangible value by working with creative talents and implement a social or business model to implement an innovative idea. In many cases, the essence of their innovation is to connect diverse branches of creative industries and beyond in a collaborative mode by involving diverse partners from the business, nonprofit and governmental sectors. Creative entrepreneurs work in many areas, primarily in the branches of culture and creative industries, but not limited to that. They deal with innovations – in the processes, products and services, marketing methods, or management systems. The presentation focuses on the importance of creative entrepreneurship in the sustainable development of a city or a region and on how diverse social and business innovations based on “crossovers” between arts, tourism and other areas could be a catalyst for bringing tourists and involving local audiences. The presentation focuses also on strategies and tools for local support of creative entrepreneurs dealing with crossovers between tourism, arts, culture, creative industries and other areas.

 The unique Azores islands

The Azores islands are world renowned for their environmental quality and special features – from pristine beaches, thermal hot springs, lagoas, and underground caves; to local pineapples, bananas, tea, and other food products; to their position on the whale migration route of the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Azores archipelago has been designated a UN Biosphere Reserve.

São Miguel is the largest and most populated of the archipelago’s nine islands, with a population of about 138,000 (2011). Settlements on São Miguel island began in 1444. The geographically strategic position of the islands made them a notable migration area: first, as an immigration point, attracting people from Mainland Portugal and other parts of Europe; and second, as an emigration point mainly to Brazil, Canada, the United States, and Bermuda.

This mixture of influences and civilizations created a rich architectural patrimony, materialized in lovely churches, manors, rural houses and gardens. This history is also echoed in a rich subaquatic archeological patrimony. Given the isolation of the islands and their long history, the people of the Azores have developed a unique culture. The culture reflects the lifestyle where it was necessary to be independent, yet also to band together. In recent times, a flourishing arts community has emerged, marked by the annual festivals “Walk and Talk Azores” and “Tremor” and the recently opened contemporary arts centre, Archipelago. Accompanying this local cultural renaissance is a rapidly growing tourism sector, primarily focused on eco-tourism experiences.

#culture #tourism #sustainabledevelopment  #creativetourism #culturaltourism #technologyandtourism

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