The integration of artisans into the tourism industry: the case study of Barcelos UNESCO Creative City

Danielle Pimentel de Oliveira, Vânia Costa


Purpose: The study analyses the inclusion of artisans in the tourism business sector in the creative city of Barcelos. It also provides a complementary analysis of the development of tourism enterprises after the COVID-19 period.

Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with different Stakeholders, in-depth documentary analysis of the total number of active artisans in the municipality, complementing the study with the analysis of entrepreneurship indicators of the Municipality of Barcelos, before and immediately after the COVID-19 period, using the SABI database.

Findings: It has been possible to identify the evolution of the business fabric of companies related to the tourism sector in Barcelos in the period of 2019 and 2020, observing the integration of craftsmanship in the economic environment, and the decline at the global level. Furthermore, the extension of creative tourism, its impact in the COVID-19 period and its transcendence in the economic environment of the destination were verified.

Research limitations/implications: As it was not possible to verify the integration of active artisans in the tourism enterprises (through the SABI database), personal interviews were conducted with actors in the destination related to the development of creative tourism.

Originality/Value: This research provides data that facilitates the understanding of the development of local entrepreneurship, and the identification of new business opportunities in the region. The degree of integration of craft activities, which identifies Barcelos as a creative city, is recognised as a new tool for competitiveness and good governance policies. This study reflects that despite the fundamental role of crafts in the development of regional tourism, the crafts activity segment does not appear as an integral part of the tourism activity sector.

Keywords: Creative Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Tourism enterprises, Municipality of Barcelos, Portugal, COVID-19.

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