In view of how complex it is to achieve a high level of competitiveness for a mature destination, at this year's INTO Seminar it is planned to analyse creativity as the main competitiveness-enhancing tool for tourist destinations of the 21st century.
Having explored in depth, in 2009 and 2010, research, knowledge transfer, the new model of doing business over the Internet engendered by digitally-enabled consumers, the technological frontiers of the immediate future, etc., with the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of tourist destinations, in this eighth Seminar we plan to go full circle by opting for creativeness as a means of overcoming obsolescence and re-inventing mature destinations.
The idea that creativeness goes hand in hand with innovation to stimulate success in business is not a new one. The World Tourism Organization designated 2009 as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation. The message it conveyed was that the nexus between creativity and innovation calls for intelligent investments that will be able to bring about new and sustainable solutions and benefits for economies .
Although the term creative tourism, designating a product, was coined in this early century with the sense of "Tourism which offers visitors the opportunity to develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are undertaken" (Greg Richards and Crispin Raymond, 2000), in 2006 UNESCO approved the concept "Creative Cities Network", which is defined the same as Creative Tourism.
This year's INTO introduces the term Creativity in Tourism, as a tool in the process of innovating so as to achieve a more competitive destination through transformation and imagination. In international knowledge forums there is an awareness that a phase has drawn to a close, that a new model of doing business is setting trends: changes of use are needed to avoid becoming obsolete, in spite of the difficult financial situation; there is a need to adapt to mobile technologies, to become aware of the new market segmentation, etc.; in short, all this will stimulate businesses to become more competitive, or else it will lead to their disappearance.