In July 2019, together with academics and creative tourism specialists Nancy Duxbury and Kathleen Scherf, Lia Ghilardi facilitated sessions on place mapping methods and engaged participants in hands-on group work during a five-day Summer School in Penela, a small town in the central region of Portugal. The School was organised by the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (CES) and CREATOUR, which is a three-year multidisciplinary demonstration and research initiative focused on developing creative tourism in small cities and rural areas across Portugal.
This intensive training course offered participants from Portugal and different parts of the world a unique opportunity to gain skills in cultural mapping techniques and culture-based development strategies. The format of the course allowed for daily tours, in-class learning, and hands-on workshops where participants actively engaged in (and enjoyed) creating solutions to the challenges that the hosting town is facing in regards to tourism, its general image and capacity to attract people to live and work. Local stakeholders, policy makers, and politicians took part in some of the sessions and responded positively to the suggestions made by the participants at the end of the Summer School.
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