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Becoming a creative destination: Theories for promoting and make use of innovation
University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5301-2070
2014 (English)In: The 23rd Nordic Symposion on Tourism and Hospitality Research: The Values of Tourism / [ed] Budeanu, Adriana & Möckel, Marie & Gyimóhy, Szilvia, 2014, p. 92-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is both a presentation and an invitation, to a conversation regarding the pros and cons of my theoretical work in the area of Trollhättan/Vänersborg, to promote the becoming of a creative tourism destination that is both prosperous and sustainable. My research is abstract and theoretical but the purpose is to give people tools to think with that can be used in society to build a collective and better understanding of culture, which in turn can be used to promote creativity, innovation and sustainability. In this paper I am investigating new ways to think about economic growth in the tourism industry that is both innovative and sustainable, and at the same time engage a wide spectrum of local residents and different kinds of actors and stakeholders in the process of becoming an interesting and attractive destination. The purpose is therefore not to say anything about the present situation or to discuss best practices, but to value different paths towards an open ended future and to emphasize the concepts becoming and collective engagement.

To meet the challenges I am arguing that a new understanding of knowledge is needed. If we want to promote both creativity and sustainable economic growth in the tourism industry we need tools to handle complexity and also new ways to understand and work with culture, which is emphasizing change and motion more. Both support for this and tools to think with I find in the work of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and his concept of conversation. I also use Bruno Latour and the Actor Network Theory (ANT) as a reference point and as inspiration, as well as insights from the pedagogic field of Work Integrated Learning (WIL). Deleuze has resembled thinking with throwing of a dice and this means that thinking must be understood as something that occurs in between actors, within context. He also argues that chance is a factor that must be taken in to consideration everywhere because the future is an open ended, collective process. This is why I am critical about the concept of best practice and argue that we need new ways to think about destination development. The outcome of a cultural process can never be regulated beforehand or in detail. It is in the middle, in between actors, that knowledge and also economic growth emerges. When this understanding, this focus on the future, is implemented in a context it opens up for new and innovative ways to develop the local economy and the destination. Innovations and innovative solutions cannot per se be described in advance, only discovered in retrospect. To make use of the result of my research the skill to detect and catch the opportunities that arise in between has to be both developed and spread widely among people that live and work in the area and as many different kinds of actors as possible has to be engaged.

My contribution is mainly theoretical, but because theory is often forgotten or taken light hearted, the result is important. When we understand that a place or a destination is never finished; that it is in a constant state of becoming, and when this ontology is widely accepted among people connected to the destination and the epistemology is implemented in the work, the chances to find new and creative ways to develop the economy and the destination increases. Theory is never just theory!

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. p. 92-
Keywords [en]
Trollhättan, tourism
Keywords [sv]
Turism
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-6812OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-6812DiVA, id: diva2:754723
Conference
23rd Nordic Symposion on Tourism and Hospitality Research, 1-4 October, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Projects
MarifusAvailable from: 2014-10-12 Created: 2014-10-12 Last updated: 2016-02-27Bibliographically approved

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Nehls, Eddy

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