The article explores the processes designer-makers and communities should engage in before using service design approaches to produce creative tourism experiences. These processes can yield insights into the inner processes and interactions with external environments of creative individuals and communities. Case studies from Finnish Lapland and Namibia show the importance of identity construction, creativity and storytelling for context mapping. The article presents a practical and flexible mapping tool that has been derived from these case studies. This tool can be expanded and applied by designer-makers for practical mapping activities. The findings indicate that creative tourism involving designer-makers can provide new tourism opportunities that not only generate deeply relevant experiences for tourists but also sustainable livelihoods for local designer-makers.