THE CONTRIBUTION OF CULTURAL AND CREATIVE EVENTS TO THE CREATION OF A DISTINCTIVE IMAGE OF THE MATURE TOURISTIC DESTINATION. THE CASE OF THE FESTIVAL MED IN LOULÉ, ALGARVE
The research problem intended to know if creative tourism elements, present in cultural events, could influence the image of a mature destination. Focusing on the supply, the research intended to analyze not the traditional impacts of events but the adoption of new cultural and creative measures in the context of urban regeneration.
The methodology focused on the bibliographic review of the variables of the study (cultural and creative tourism, destination image formation and events), content analysis, "snowball" sampling technique and surveys.
The case study concentrated on the city of Loulé, Algarve, where the festival was analyzed on these issues. Not only was identified the will to create a cultural district in the city, but also the fact that the event is seen as the main force behind the revitalization of the local historic centre. The surveys showed that, despite the adoption of new cultural and creative measures, a single event isn’t strong enough to create a distinctive image which corresponds to the whole mature destination of the Algarve, contributing to differentiate the touristic supply in the region of Loulé.
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