Creative Resilient Economies for Alternative Tourism and Education

  • Dredge, Dianne Margaret (PI (principal investigator))




This project (Creative Resilient Economies for Alternative Tourism and Education - CREATE) aims to map and evaluate the new, diverse and variegated business and destination development logics in tourism. The project is targeted towards those involved in destination management, policy and decision-making and who seek to understand and effectively manage the seismic shifts taking place in tourism in the 21st century while also identify emerging opportunities.

The challenge

There are massive social, economic, political, organisational and institutional changes taking place in and across tourism. New collaborative ecologies are emerging to facilitate travelling, sharing experiences in new places, and mobile dwelling. Innovative developments in social enterprise, collaborative economy, circular economy, access and sharing economies, and community currencies are all part of this trend. It’s not just understanding the drivers behind these changes that is important. It is also important to excavate, to map, and to share the insights unfolding from these alternative and diverse business and destination development logics. How are these shifts affecting traditional understandings of tourism, of destinations and destination management? How can these transformative changes be navigated and managed? How can sustainable, resilient, liveable and hopeful futures for tourism be leveraged from these changes? These are key challenges for the future of tourism.

Depending on whether you are a “glass half-empty” or a “glass half-full” kind of person, many European destinations are facing either a crisis in tourism or a period of unprecedented creativity and renewal. Crisis is looming if the focus is on unsustainable levels of tourism growth, overcrowding, exploitation and community opposition. Platform capitalism, typified by Airbnb, Uber and other global corporations, are breaking down and disrupting traditional supply chains and traditional mediators, such as Destination Marketing Organisations, are being bypassed. Traditional players are looking to find new ways of engaging and renewing their business models to navigate these turbulent times. In many major cities, policymakers and politicians are finding it difficult to address both citizen’s liveability concerns and the tourism sector’s need for economic and political certainty.

In other cities and regions, tourism is opening up spaces of creativity and renewal, restoring hope and connecting communities. Tourism is being positioned within broader and more holistic strategies aimed at driving sustainable local livelihoods and alternative and diverse economies. In these contexts, digital nomads, creative classes, mobile start-up entrepreneurs are returning to the local, blurring boundaries between, for example, home-away, citizen-mobile worker, and resident-tourist. In the process, new paths for sustainable, resilient, local livelihoods are being created that welcome mobile dwellers and that de-centre traditional forms of industrial tourism.

Regardless of whether your glass is half-full or half-empty, these scenarios have one thing in common. They implore us to consider the future of tourism in the context of massive spatial and sectoral restructuring, shifting values and uncertainty.


The project will seek to develop a suite of materials, frameworks, decision-support and educative tools and opportunities that assist actors analyse, evaluate, and make decisions about how to leverage the alternative and diverse business and destination development logics from the transformative structural changes emerging in tourism.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/11/201701/01/2019


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