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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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In September 2016, The Kyrgyz Republic will hold the II World Nomad Games in Issyk-Kul region. At this time, the organizers and officials prepares to accept guests from more than 40 countries. Kyrgyz officials are trying to create a unique “product” to make popular Kyrgyz Republic for tourists. As poor, little country with developing economy, Kyrgyzstan is seeking new paths to increase the attractiveness of the country with its nature and traditions.

The I World Nomad Games also held by Kyrgyz Republic in 2014. Millions of TV viewers had a chance to watch unique event in the world of sports and culture. The shores of alpine Lake Issyk-Kul hosted competitions on ethnic sports, as well as cultural, musical and theatrical events. Teams from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russian Federation (Altai, Bashkortostan, Buriatia and Yakutia), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan invited to participate in games. Organizers conclude that “…The World Nomad Games is quite an event not only for sports and cultural life our country, but also inspire other countries to carry out Nomad Games” .

In perspective of creative industry and examples of urban tourism I want to examine how Kyrgyzstan could improve and sell out their “product” and develop tourism.

What creative industry is?

Various researchers and commentators are giving different variants what creative industry is. In United Kingdom where the largest creative sector in European Union, the special governmental department called Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), defines creative industries as:

“…those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property” (DCMS, 2001)

DCMS also provides nine creative sectors as:

1. Advertising and marketing;

2. Architecture;

3. Crafts;

4. Design: product, graphic and fashion design;

5. Film, TV, Video, radio and photography;

6. It, software and computer services;

7. Publishing;

8. Museums, galleries and libraries;

9. Music, performing and visual arts. (DCMS, Statistical Release, 2015)

Creative industry as a part of economy was recognized by British council:

 “All around the world, the creative and cultural economy is talked about as an important and growing part of the global economy. The term refers to the socio-economic potential of activities that trade with creativity, knowledge and information. Governments and creative sectors across the world are increasingly recognizing its importance as a generator of jobs, wealth and cultural engagement. At the heart of the creative economy are the cultural and creative industries that lie at the crossroads of arts, culture, business and technology. What unifies these activities is the fact that they trade with creative assets in the form of intellectual property, the framework through which creative translates into economic value”

UNESCO also gives definition of creative industry within cultural industry. According to the report made by UNESCO, the term creative industries include a wide range of activities of cultural industries and adding all “cultural or artistic production or service contains a substantial element of artistic or creative endeavor and include activities such as architecture and advertising”.

As mentioned above, UK has largest creative industry, and thereby the largest economic GDP in this sector. According to The Work Foundation report “Staying ahead: the economic performances of the UK in the creative industries”, the creative industries based on knowledge and creativity.

“For example, high-tech manufacturing and universities are two long-standing building blocks in the economic structure of advanced capitalist economies. However, the concept of the knowledge economy goes further. It captures a paradigm shift in which a critical mass of economic activity falls into the category of knowledge production, as firms deploy new technologies and techniques to meet important changes in the structure of demand”(Work Foundation, p.18)

The knowledge-economy is the basement for creative industries. Researchers' claim that creative based economy develop in educated society. But other societies also better educated, nonetheless, only UK has the best results in creative industry. The economical approach is that UK had the high growth demand in last 15 years. However, the language is giving huge advantages to British producers in global market as English is international language. The other explanations are the location and recognition of London as “a global creative powerhouse, in a society that has become more open, diverse and plural, spawning a depth of cognitive diversity which is at the heart of creativity” (Work Foundation, p.18)

The other reason of well operating of UK's creative industries is the governmental policy of post-industrial reconstruction of country economy. In fully industrialized cities like Manchester, London and others, the role of small and medium businesses is essential (Sheptukhina, 2012). In post-industrial economic period the creative industries changed the look of modern city. The art-studios, media museums, craft-shops created new job places and made the transition smoother.

Inspired by Jane Jacobs's Human capital theory that argues “the key to regional growth lies not in reducing the cost of doing business, but in endowments of highly educated and productive people”, Florida examines various theories that could be applied to city and community (Florida,2003). After many interviews and surveys, he came out with the creative capital theory. In his theory he argues that “creative people power regional economic growth” and these people prefer to reside in “innovative, diverse and tolerance” places. Florida's theory differs from Jacob's human capital theory in two parameters. The 1st, it specifies a new view of human capital, creative people as being main clue to economic growth. The 2nd distinction is the important quotients that they choosing locations to create with certain endowments of them.

The development of creative industry in Games prospective

The striking example how sport events like Nomad Games could gain from creative sector is Olympic Games. I. Pappalepore and J. Westermann on their research “Cultural Olympiads and the Creative Industries: Local Engagement in Torino and London” explains the impact of games on creative industry and how creative industries workers remain in win performing at Games.

Hubs of cultural capital, created by networks of creativity and cultural industries located in specific places often attract individuals in search of a creative industrial atmosphere (Scott, 1999). Cultural events provide «creative buzz”, cool atmosphere and opportunities for creative inspiration for creative workers. The strong presence of creativity firms as well as specialized schools and organizations all contribute to the reinforcement of a local cultural framework (Scott, 1999).

The Torino 2006 Olympic Games were part of a strategy that put in place by the city region of Torino to accelerate the transition from the post-industrial era to a service economy (IOC, 2007). The Olympic Games have contributed to the ongoing process of changing Torino's image from gritty, industrial town to one of creativity, youth and development, and to the rejuvenation of its tourism industry. Consistent with these objectives, Torino was also the first Winter Olympic City to organize an extensive Cultural Program parallel to the sport program. The 200 events of the Cultural Olympiad “Italy Art” – were produced by the Ministry of Culture, the Region, and the City, the Province and public agencies and institutions.

In London, the cultural program ambitions were also extensive, aiming to be ‘the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympics Movements'. As for all Olympic Summer Games since Barcelona 1988, London's program lasted 4 years it started in 2008 and culminated with the 1,000 events of the ‘London 2012 Festival' (June-September 2012). However, different from any previous Olympic City, London's Cultural Olympiad not held in the host region only, but events took place on a national level. This new approach represents a response to the government's key aim of dispersing the benefits of London 2012 to the whole of the UK. The sponsors included a range of major public and private organizations.

The first advantages of Cultural Olympiad at Torino Games was the “visibility and publicity”, thanks to the higher visitation to the cultural venues under the Olympic brand, the value of events and “creativity and new experiences” allowed creative sectors people to get and develop the fresh ideas.

For artists and other creative professionals, such as fashion designers, Cultural Olympiad events were an opportunity to showcase their products and to advertise the city's or area's creativity. By comparison, In London researchers noted that “normally creative activities often happen ‘behind closed doors'”, so that the creative atmosphere or ‘buzz' are not visible from outside, but perceived very strongly by the creative professionals involved. Networking and improved connectivity were not seen as a results of participation in Torino, while they were mentioned by several respondents in London as a prospective advantages.

A program of cultural events can facilitate to local creativity in a number of ways. First, events represent an opportunity to develop, share and experience new creative products and fresh ideas; they are a ‘deadline for motivation' and a source of inspiration (p.16)

Secondly, creative firms may benefit from increased attendance and openness generated by participation in the event's program or by the staging of a mega event such as the Olympic Games in their city. However, a concentration of many events over a short period of time is seen as even more important, especially when most of the events are staged outdoors and free of charge. Such events input to the creation of a happy and festive atmosphere, which may facilitate creative inspiration and the development of a creative field. Increased visitation, raised interest in the destination and atmosphere together contribute to local pride (p.16).

Although these impacts from the Games are not directly related to their business, they nevertheless emerged as a very important perceived benefit of the Games and their cultural program. East London participants also noted that cultural events play an important role in promoting the area's creativity, showcasing the local arts scene and making up for the noted problem of non-visibility of many creative industries, due to the fact that many cultural activities happen ‘behind closed doors'. This finding suggests that events may indirectly contribute to the development of a cultural quarter.

On the other hand, a number of critical concerns were also flagged by participants, particularly those in London. Lack of funding – which was often associated with the secondary role of cultural events compared to the sports program as well as with the Mayor's decision to spread events across the UK – were the most strongly lamented by London participants. Others were the lack of information on the festival and related funding, and doubts on the quality and authenticity of the chosen events.

 The negative consequences of such dilution of activity were also articulated Torino participants, where a large number of small unrelated events (involving many firms on the territory) were staged. This may have weakened the impact of the program and the Cultural Olympiad brand, while creating confusion over the concept of the Cultural Olympiad. Instead, a coordinated and coherent mix of well chosen events, allowing for a combination of typologies (elite / mainstream; local / international) could represent the most useful approach (p.17)

“Thus, organizers should aim to find the right balance between local involvement and attraction of media attention: while the former would contribute to local business development and to the promotion of local cultures, the latter would facilitate image enhancement and, possibly, the attraction of much needed sponsorships for future editions of the Cultural Olympiad”(Pappalepore & Westermann, 2012).

The other perspective on Games from creative industry is the example of development urban tourism. C.Rogerson on his article “Creative Industry and Urban Tourism: South African Perspectives” describing the role of creating “themasitation” of cities and regional areas that help get sustainable economic profits from its touristic braches. On the Johannesburg Experience, Rogerson argued that the governmental support is important to develop economy within creative industry.

‘The Economic Development Unit of the City of Johannesburg has recognized officially the role and potential of creative industries for contributing towards the goals of “Joburg 2030”, the city's blueprint for economic development over the next three decades (Rogerson, 2005). Indeed, it is significant that the terminology of “creative industries” is now used widely in planning documents issued by the city and its associated development agencies (see e.g., City of Johannesburg, 2005a; Johannesburg Development Agency, 2005). The recognition of creative industries is the latest step in the implementation of “Joburg 2030”, one important element of which includes support for targeted strategic sectors of the urban economy (Rogerson, 2005). During 2005, alongside new support programs for business process outsourcing call centers, ICT, freight and logistics, and sport, it was announced that the Economic Development Unit of Johannesburg would support actively also the sector of “creative industries””(Rogerson, 2006)

The Johannesburg city council resorted research to define what “creative industry” is and in which directions move to. And the scoping study made a series recommendations to develop this sector. The 1st is building an image of Johannesburg's creative industries that will generate it at additional demand. Next, 2nd, determine and address skills that needed in the sector. The 3rd recommendation is increasing networks and alliances that the potential of the cluster is reinforced to fast reaction to new demands. The 4th, cultivate a strong business development infrastructure in terms of granting a business-friendly foundation of physical space, telecommunications, policy support and funding mechanisms. The last, 5th is considering the high rates of crime and urban decay in the inner city, which act as restraints to tourists and the audience of creative industries (p. 159).


In creative industries many theories and applied examples how creative workers can change the city's look, create an image, make a brand, and additionally benefits to the economy of the region. The post-industrial world, especially fully industrialized Europe changed its directions and quickly adapted in late 1980s the new creative economy.

Unfortunately, there is absent any researches how the creative economy could adjust in post Soviet countries except Russia. But Russia has been developing his creative sector 7 or 8 years ago. But still far from the level which has reached the UK in this industry.

Theoretically, creative industries can quickly get development in Kyrgyzstan. According to my observation, the small and medium-sized businesses well developed. Last 5 years, art spaces that created by young people are increasing not only in the capital but also in regions too. For the II World Nomad Games, Kyrgyz Republic started to use the ‘force' of creative workers, in every region the brand of Nomad Games is spreading by local activists, every sport event related to the ethnic games gets maximum support from the local authoritative. But the main question is, will the parliament continue to support the creative industry after the Nomad Games, and will pass the policy like in the UK.

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