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Tourism & Culture
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Tourism & Culture

The African continent is one of the fastest urbanising regions in the world, facing the critical challenge of developing cities sustainably while also reflecting local identities and needs. Travelling to Casablanca for the fourth edition of The African Place Marketing Conference, Senior Consultant Martha Pym gave a keynote address, discussing how culture and creativity are vital in cultivating unique place-based identities.


Focusing on the importance of culture and creativity in territorial identity for sustainable development, she outlined how this approach not only attracts vital investment and tourism but also empowers local populations.


Cultural Capability

Presenting on BOP500 and its foundational framework, ‘Cultural Capability,’ Martha shared how taking a measure of where you are is a crucial step towards informing future strategic planning. Pointing to how the availability of culture for citizens is a top priority for sustainable development, she shared how it’s not just about what you have but how you make it available that matters. 


Cities need to understand the important relationship between their cultural assets, the communities they serve, and the income they generate so that they can become sustainable tourist destinations that still have a place for their citizens.


By understanding and harnessing their unique cultural assets, resources, and participants, cities can galvanise their identity - strengthening sustainable development, place-making and improving quality of life. However, for this to be effective, culture and creativity must be taken as seriously as other areas of public policy.


Using case studies from Abu Dhabi, Lagos, and London, Martha demonstrated practical applications of how cultural policy can support identity and authenticity - strengthening place and city attractiveness. In doing so, she argued the case for culture as ‘a golden thread that weaves through all areas of public policy - deserving the same seriousness as other sectors.’


Thank you to the organisers at the Africa Place Marketing Conference for having us, and for the opportunity to share and learn over the course of the event.


About BOP500

Comprising an index, GIS platform and expert insights, BOP500 is a service dedicated to cities, culture, and the creative economy. Starting with 250 global cities for its first edition, BOP500 will expand over the next three years to include rankings on cultural infrastructure, cultural tourism/attractiveness, and cultural innovation for 500 cities. Helping policymakers, developers, investors, and arts practitioners truly understand and quantify the transformative power of culture and creativity.


Learn more about BOP500 here.

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By BOP Consulting

Martha Pym

Senior Consultant

Martha has over 15 years' experience working the culture and creative sector, with a particular focus on international cultural policy making, cultural events and planning.

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Martha Pym

Senior Consultant

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