Creative encounters with local New Zealanders through interactive workshops

Creative encounters with local New Zealanders through interactive workshops

Motueka, Nueva Zelanda
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Creative tourism enhances the distinctive character of various regions across New Zealand by offering visitors the chance to spend time with local 'tutors' through interactive 'workshops'. The tutors are proud to share their skills and passion for their specific arts, crafts or cultural and natural heritage, and in the process facilitating visitors' exploration of their own creativity.

About You
Contact Information


First name


Last name


Your job title


Name of your organization

Creative Tourism New Zealand

Organization type


Annual budget/currency

Annual Budget/Currency

Mailing address
Telephone number

00 64 3 526 8812

Postal/Zip Code


Email address
Alternative email address
Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

Kereru, Herring Stream Road, RD1



Postal/Zip Code


Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of tourist experience and educational benefit to tourists , Quality of benefit to residents for the destination .

Organization size

Small (1 to 100 employees)

Indicate sector in which you principally work

Tourism-related business

Year innovation began


Indicate sector in which you principally work

Living culture, General tourism.

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What is the goal of your innovation? Please describe in one sentence the kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

Through creative cultural workshops tutors interact on a genuine and personal basis with workshop participants allowing a true cross-cultural understanding to take place.

Please write an overview of your project. Include how your approach supports or embodies geotourism or destination stewardship. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the map located on the competition homepage.

Creative tourism enhances the distinctive character of various regions across New Zealand by offering visitors the chance to spend time with local 'tutors' through interactive 'workshops'. The tutors are proud to share their skills and passion for their specific arts, crafts or cultural and natural heritage, and in the process facilitating visitors' exploration of their own creativity.

Explain in detail why your approach is innovative

Creative tourism has been pioneered and established in New Zealand as an innovative approach to cultural tourism. It is a newly recognised form of tourism. Through participation in interactive workshops, travelers develop their creative potential, and get closer to local people. They become more actively involved in the culture of the countries and communities they are visiting. While the cultural tourist enjoys visiting, say, a pottery workshop or sampling a range of local foods, the creative tourist takes a pottery course or learns to cook local dishes.

Describe the degree of success you have had to date. How do you measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impact on sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How has it transformed or contributed to the power of place or demonstrated the sustainability of tourism? How does your approach minimize negative impacts?

Creative Tourism New Zealand has developed from a regional into a national organisation over the course of its five years of existence. It contributes to enhancing local cultural practices across six different regions in New Zealand, including major creative hubs such as the Nelson Bays and Christchurch regions. The quality of the offer, combined with the possibility to actively engage visitors in the local cultural tissue, leads to a more memorable, long-lasting experience eventually benefitting both visitors and host communities. Creative tourism fosters understanding through the principles of creativity and contributes to local people re-valuing their heritage and culture. It minimizes negative impacts in that it uses existing local structures (such as local tutors' homes or workshops) and allows visitors an easier access to the specific local culture and environment of New Zealand.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your work, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Local residents are the providers of the creative tourism experience and as such are a vital part of success. By achieving interaction with visitors and teaching them for instance how to weave, carve, cook or paint something distinctively New Zealand, traditional cultural practices have come to be re-valued, especially among young people. The community as a whole can benefit from this interactive, hands-on approach to tourism. The aim of creative tourism is to provide an income to local tutors who want to share their skills with interested travelers by promoting their activities through a nation-wide network.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

Creative tourism provides travelers with a very hands-on experience of the single cultural aspects of New Zealand. It therefore acts as a means for travelers to become directly involved rather than just skimming the surface. By creating their own bone carvings or harakeke (NZ flax) weavings, they will value these traditional skills more than simply viewing or buying items in a shop, having gone through the creative process of actually producing their own pieces with local tutors.

Describe how your work helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area's cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues.

Creativity is the key to achieving value for both travelers and local residents. It is a unique opportunity for visitors to craft their own pieces of artwork in the process of participating in an interactive workshop activity, such as carving, sculpting or weaving, thereby developing a hands-on feel for the specific natural/cultural offers of the place they visit. Active, creative involvement means fun for travelers and teaches them meaning and sensibility to act more responsibly in the future.

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

Finance for Creative Tourism New Zealand comes from the subscriptions of tutors who pay to be listed on the Creative Tourism website. This is used to market their products (creative tourism workshops) to domestic as well as foreign visitors. Overhead costs are accounting, insurance, internet (website), brochure production and display, as well as the subscription to the NZ tourism website. Currently, the organisation is run by a small number of enthusiastic, volunteer staff.

Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? Is there a potential demand for your innovation?

Creative Tourism New Zealand will eventually become financially and organizationally sustainable once more bookings for existing tutors' workshops take place and/or new tutors can be recruited. To get there, more investments in marketing and PR are needed. We are confident that there is a lot of potential demand for that type of tourism, but as it is not a conventional tourism product, we are aware of the extra efforts needed to reach the general traveling market.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

At the moment, the organisation lacks the financial resources in developing and achieving broader market exposure. More money is needed to bring creative tourism to visitors' attention upon as well as before arrival in New Zealand. At this stage, it is vital to increase the number of bookings to allow tutors a reasonable income from their workshop activities. At the same time, we are confident that each new participant will help us achieve that, as most of them continue writing and talking about their unique experience.

What is your plan to expand or further develop your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

Plans for growth include the signing up of more skilled tutors across New Zealand who are ambassadors of the country's unique cultural skill set. To achieve that, word is out through a number of articles published in national and international media and travel directories. A big opportunity for growth is UNESCO's endorsement of the creative tourism concept and the major international conference about Creative Tourism which took place in Santa Fe in September 2008. This has raised the profile of various creative tourism initiatives throughout the world.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell the Changemakers and media communities what prompted you to start this initiative.

Having had the privilege to travel extensively, I have realised that the most memorable and thought provoking experiences are always linked with the people I met while travelling. Learning how to make local craft with a local artist or artisan is a wonderful way to communicate about each other's culture and this is why I woud like to make this type of experience more easily available to travellers.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Denise migrated to New Zealand with Crispin, the founder of Creative Tourism in 2001. Having chosen to live on a wonderful property in the hills near Motueka, most of their energy is spent on the land caring for the trees and propagating native plants. Denise has always been enthusiastic about the concept of creative tourism and has taken the role of manager in October 2005. Before that she had been working mainly as a translator and a French teacher.

Describe some unique tourist experiences that your approach provides. Be specific; give illustrative examples.

Create your own bonecarving, clay or woodturning souvenir; learn to make silver or green stone jewellery,
a hand-forged knife, kiwiana paper art, felt from a selection of wool fleeces; explore the new medium of fused glass; meet the wine maker; make your own cheese, olive oil blend, or a delicious pavlova; discover the art of coffee making; spend a day learning about the New Zealand bush in an interactive way or weaving a traditional flax basket; get your inspiration from the New Zealand flora and fauna to create a unique painting or travel journal...

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

Additional support is needed to raise awareness of this new form of tourism both nationally and internationally. Progress has been made but a lot more needs to be done to promote the concept. We would welcome mentions or links on website with a more established profile and we do to increase the ongoing publication of articles relating to this new form of tourism.