Assistant Professor of the Technology Development Institute (ACECR)
Assistant Professor of the University of Science and Culture
By producing the paradigm of creative tourism, the knowledge increasing discipline of tourism invites tourists to visit and interact with the unique and live culture of societies instead of just sightseeing in museums and ancient monuments. In this paradigm, tourists engage all of their senses in the creation of their unique experience and improving their relations with local people from seller/buyer to a master/apprentice level. Not only the cultural capital but also the social capital would be increased from this interaction. The main goal of this research is to show that, contrary to what appears at first, the creative domain of gastronomy is a spiritual one and flourishing local communities and creative tourism based on this paradigm can evolve the wellbeing and material life of inhabitants and tourists as well. Moreover, this includes significant spiritual endowments both for guests and hosts in the creative gastronomic destinations. Creative tourism based on gastronomy regards new looks to local communities as the first step in creating unique and added value experiences including economic, human, and social values. In creative tourism, locals and tourists will open their eyes on the destination in completely new ways, so that they could see better in creating new and valuable experiences. This definition is closely related to the Quranic command of “The man must consider what he eats”. In this research, using thematic analysis and Delphi method, it is shown that the components of spiritual perception have significant overlaps with the components of gastronomic creative tourism. Factors such as “comfort and satisfaction”, “Giving meaning to life”, “interaction with others”, “friendship with nature and environment”, and “surrender and thanksgiving “, as the components of the spiritual understanding, showed common and undeniable spaces with the components of creative tourism. These components include “authentic experiences “, “active participation “, “learning”, “self-esteem and self-awareness”, “new products and processes”, and “new spaces”. Based on our results, each of these components has their own proprietary domains and non-negligible common spaces, and even in some cases are subsets of each other.