Creativity, tourism and the value of a territory

Cultour is Capital held its second thematic webinar to address the topic: The role of culture and creativity in supporting tourism recovery in fragile destinations. Four experts from creativity and tourism sector were invited to the session: Emilio Casalini, creative director at Sciacca’s Open Air Museu Paola Galuffo, co-founder and curator at Periferica, Carlo Ferretti, founder of Arti in Libertà, curator of the Genera 2020 festival and Emma Taveri, CEO at Destination Makers; with the moderation of Giorgia Laudati, culture and co-creation at Destination Makers.

The debate started analyzing the new trends in tourism since pandemic has shifted the travel demands and needs of the customers. What seems to be clear, as Emma Taveri explained, is that “travel should be more meaningful for local communities”, and creativity must be a tool to define new touristic products. In that context, Taveri mentioned the current directions the tourism sector is facing as transformative travel, sustainability, or virtual and online experiences. Following on the relevance of local people, Emiliano Casalini presented the case of Sciacca. This locality from the south of Italy created a laboratory where the city itself became an open-air museum, “the squares were the room exhibitors, the narrow streets the corridors and what was shown in the museum was the identity of the local people”, the expert described. And what is even more important, they started a movement to change a “community made by individuals to a community aware of the power of the network”, as Casalini pointed out.

Talking about projects that create value for their territories, it was presented Periferica, an organization that promotes urban regeneration through social culture and artistic process to stress the link between the community and their territories, based in Sicily (Italy). Paola Galuffo, its co-founder, expressed what she had learned from their experience is that “each individual can contribute to rising their home place and this can generate a speed of generosity”, adding: “it can create the desire to get back something to your city, this raises the value of the civic pride, loyalty and trust. Everyone reinforces the other and this creates a positive virtuous spiral”.

The last case of study was Genera Festival from Arti in Libertà which uses creativity to bring life to the territory. Born two years ago in Bari, in the south of Italy, this project started from identifying the low cultural production of the city, “there was a low offer for a low demand”, as Carlo Ferretti recognized. Thus, they decided to invest in producing art. “The first aim was to amplify the offer, the second to engage young local professionals and finally, to work in an interdisciplinary way”. That is how Genera Festival was born, a music event where the concerts take place on the terrace of public buildings and “the old part of the city becomes a big stage and the music is spread all over the town” involving both local and tourists.

You can watch full version of the Webinar here: