Creativity and Innovation in Tourism: the Role of Events

by Tonino Pencarelli, Mirella Migliaccio, Simone Splendiani and Francesca Rivetti

presented at 4th Advantages in Tourism Marketing Conference (ATMC), Maribor, Slovenia, September 6-8, 2011.

published in Tourism Marketing: On Both Sides of the Counter, Metin Kozak, Luisa Andreu, Juergen Gnoth, Sonja Sibila Lebe and Alan Fyall, (Eds), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.


For local tourist systems, the ability to innovate its offering becomes a crucial strategic factor for global competition with other Destinations. Innovations can be encouraged by both businesses and enterprise networks. It is one of the most important ways to meet the needs of tourists, especially those looking for authentic and engaging experiences (Pine and Gilmore, 2000).
The aim of this paper is to grasp the role of cultural events in this context, considered as creative and innovative output of processes of knowledge accumulation and sharing. Specifically, the focus is on the team as a social context where creativity may happen. In terms of events, the main research questions are:
– Which characteristics do project teams need to have in order to stimulate creativity and innovation? What is the role of the team-leader?
– Which approach to regional governance is more effective in stimulating creativity and innovation at Destination level?
To this end, this paper on one hand presents first a theoretical analysis aimed at clarifying the relationships between creativity, innovation and knowledge in tourism, carried out through a critical analysis of literature on creativity and innovation, on the other hand it highlights the relationship between creativity, innovation and knowledge within the conceptual framework of Destination Management studies.
On the empirical level, the aim is to analyze cases of Italian events, highlighting underlying creative and innovative processes.
Despite research limitations related to the small number of cases analyzed, the study reveals the importance of innovation processes in local tourism offering. These are reflected in the organization of events by leveraging creativity inside and outside the destinations open cognitive systems.



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