This year was the fourth that the Creative Tourism Network® organized conferences within the World Travel Market – London, one of the most important international tourist fairs. This was on November 7th and a prestigious panel composed by Mr. Peter Debrine, Senior Project Officer, UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Program, Mrs. Carol Hay, Director of Marketing Europe & UK, Caribbean Tourism Organization and Caroline Couret, founder and director of the Creative Tourism Network®, shared their expertize with a numerous and interested audience.
Indeed, it is relevant to observe the growing interest for this tourist trend. It does not only represents a new demand based on creative experiences that enable the travelers to discover the local culture like craft workshops, traditional dance lessons, cooking classes, etc – but is converting itself in a new tool for the territorial development.
By assuming the challenge and the responsability to offer the tourists experiences that are unique, authentic and affordable, the tourist industry has to compose with new local stakeholders, be they craftmens, artists, citizen associations, farmers, small entrepreneurs, as well as of course, the tourist and hospitality sector. This process suposes the organization of trainings for these emerging micro-entrepreneurs, which has positive effects on the local communities’ empowerment.
This public – private partnership produces a value chain not only for the destination, but also for the territory, in terms of education, jobs’ creation, social cohesion, heritage recovery and preservation, etc.
This session has been particularly relevant for being held within the 2017 International Year of Sustainability and he upcoming 2018, European Year of Cultural Heritage.
In this sense, Mr. DeBrine insisted in the importance of such a tourism to recover heritages and traditions, as well as to foster he local economic growth, to empower the locals and to achieve a balance in the coexistence between tourists and residents. A good opportunity to remind thar the UNESCO has been supporting the creative tourism since its origins.
Mrs. Carol Hay relied on the example of the Caribbean that, through their mosaic of cultures, offer much more than paradisiacal beaches, but a wide array of cultural expressions that can be experienced and shared thanks to the creative tourism. She also reminded that the creative tourism is a chance for the territory to develop professional skills, to strenghten the public-private partnerships and to garantee the resilience.
Caroline Couret also underlined these creative tourism’s assets through examples of good practices of the creative tourism, in Ibiza, Tuscany, Loulé (Portugal), Lucena (Spain), Biot (France), the Empordanet (Catalonia), Saint-Jean-Port-Joli (Quebec), Medellín, among others.
The session generated an interesting debate with the professional and authorities present in the audience.
The international jury had the difficult task to select the awardees representing five categories, among 205 applications, all accrediting a high level of creativity, authenticity and sustainability.
The winners are:
Best Strategy for Creative Tourism Development : Patchwork Methodology (Brazil)
Best Creative Residency : New Hermopolis (Egypt)
Best Creative Travel Agency: TLVstyle (Israel)
Best Creative Destination: (Ex-aequo): Hull 2017 (UK) / Aegean Islands (Greece)
Best Creative Experiences: Local Moods (Greece)
Created by the Creative Tourism Network®, the Creative Tourism Awards aim to reward companies, projects and destinations worldwide that foster this new generation of tourism, characterized by the active participation of the tourists in artistic and creative activities.
Internationally recognized for its action in favor of a more innovative and sustainable tourism, the Creative Tourism Network® has converted into a reference to guarantee the respect of the Best Practices of the Creative Tourism.
Interesting as well to observe that the “creative tourism” appeared as new segment within the WTM planner!