CREATIVE TOURISM A PANACEA FOR ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY IN ABIA STATE. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
This research provides an overview of the contributions to economic sustainability in Abia State through creative tourism using Akwette cloth weaving in ukwa west L.G.A. Creative tourism has grown rapidly in the past decade, reflecting the growing desire of consumers to develop their own creative potential and to attach themselves to creative networks, as well as the need for creative producers, cities and regions to profile themselves in an increasingly crowded global market. The case study provides creative tourism in a range of different contexts and present a range of models of creative tourism development in fields such as Weaving and crafts. Creative tourism can therefore be viewed as a form of networked tourism, which depends on the ability of producers and consumers to relate to each other and to generate value from their encounters.
Creativity appears to have become positioned as a panacea for a wide range of problems. The development of creative cities (Landry, 2000), creative clusters (Mommaas, 2009), creative industries (O‟Connor, 2010) and the creative field (Scott, 2010) can serve to attract the creative class (Florida, 2002) and hopefully rescue the economy, as well as knitting communities together and revitalising local culture.
However, there is also a sceptical tone emerging in many recent studies of creativity (e.g. Peck, 2005), which is now also being repeated in the field of tourism (Long and Morpeth, forthcoming). The rapid rise, dissemination and subsequent critique of creative development strategies mirror the development of cultural tourism in the 1980s and 1990s (Richards, 1996, 2001). In fact „creative tourism‟ is often seen as a form of, or an extension of cultural tourism.
The issue of economic sustainability and Practice of tourism considers many different facets of the creative tourism phenomenon, and examines the ways in which it has been developed in various places. Creative tourism has been faced with challenges in the aspect of creative tourism development and, despite the emergent critical thoughts on the subject, they tend to emphasise the positive aspects. Does this suggest that creative tourism is just one more aspect of the creativity hype, or can creative experiences act as an effective alternative to more “traditional” tourism development strategies? In this sense, it is important to understand the concept of creative tourism better in order to provide an effective assessment of its theoretical position and practical importance.