Creativity and tourism in the city

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Creativity has become increasingly important for the development of tourism in cities in recent years. As competition between cities grows, they increasingly seek to distinguish themselves through creative strategies. In the field of tourism, however, such strategies may arguably be counter-productive, as the race to produce distinction often results in cities adopting similar creative development models. In particular, many cities rely on the ideas of creativity 'gurus' such as Richard Florida and Charles Landry to provide creative solutions to a wide range of cultural, social and economic problems. However, by following such exogenous prescriptions, adopting forms of 'fast policy' and copying ideas from other 'creative cities' through 'policy tourism', the result is often a form of serial reproduction, unattractive to the very tourists cities seek to attract. This review article examines the search of many cities for distinction through creativity, and analyses the development of different forms of creativity, including creative industries and creative cities strategies and creative tourism. It argues that the shift away from tangible to intangible competitive advantage is continuing, with a trend towards relational forms of tourism based on creativity and embedded knowledge. These processes are illustrated by reviews of the literature relating to cities around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-144
Number of pages26
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • cities
  • creative cities
  • creative industries
  • creative tourism
  • creativity
  • urban tourism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Creativity and tourism in the city'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this