Inderscience Publishers

Reinventing tourism at a traditional cultural tourism destination: a case study of Viana do Castelo (Portugal)

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Because culture's role in tourism is key and usually the primary reason for visiting certain tourist destinations, the development of cultural tourism as a component of cultural economic development is important in that it requires a destination to sell its culture and creativity to the intended market. This paper seeks to explore the attitudes, expectations and motivations of visitors to Viana do Castelo, in Northern Portugal, to determine how the destination can reinvent a tourism product strategy based on its heritage and the emerging trends in the tourism market. A total of 205 usable questionnaires were collected using a convenience sample of visitors. Results of this study indicate that visitors are essentially independent travellers, seeking to explore the natural and cultural heritage of the region. Finally, a series of observations and recommendations are proposed that support a new form of cultural tourism based on the valuation of local know–how and creative skills in the form of creative tourism.

Keywords: culture, creativity, experiences, tourism reinvention, tourism planning, Portugal, cultural tourism, tourist destinations, visitor attitudes, visitor expectations, visitor motivations, cultural heritage, local know–how, creative skills, creative tourism

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