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Everyday life as a creative experience in cities

Robert Maitland (Professor of City Tourism, Director at the Centre for Tourism Research, University of Westminster, London, UK)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 10 August 2010




This paper aims to explore how overseas visitors experience off‐the‐beaten‐track areas and everyday life in London.


Initially scoped through quantitative research using visitor surveys involving some 400 respondents, the study was subsequently developed through qualitative research: 49 semi‐structured interviews with visitors from a wide range of countries.


These areas offer city visitors opportunities to create their own narratives and experiences of the city, and to build a cultural capital in a convivial relationship with other city users. At the same time, visitors contribute to the discovery of new areas for tourism ‐ and in some sense the creation of new places to visit.

Research limitations/implications

Further research in other areas of London and in other world tourism cities is needed to develop ideas discussed here.

Practical implications

Subtler forms of tourism marketing are required to develop the potential of areas like those discussed in the paper.

Social implications

Some tourists and residents enjoy a convivial and complementary relationship in area development.


The paper focuses on everyday life as an element in the attraction that cities exert for tourists, and on the visitors' contribution to recreating the city.



Maitland, R. (2010), "Everyday life as a creative experience in cities", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 176-185.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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