Le Louvre-Lens, situated in the North of France, is one of our Creative Friendly Destinations. It deals with a unique one, whose challenge was to gather locals and visitors around the opening of the prestigious institution Louvre Museum. Its Strategic Director, Norbert Crozier, achieved it, in less than two years, by creating a storytelling between the inhabitants and the tourists as well as involving them in the co-creation of cultural experiences. We met him in order to know further about his successful strategy.
“Around the Louvre-Lens” offers the opportunity to climb heaps, discover the mining past, taste the traditional cuisine, enjoy the rich cultural context, but also meet the locals and discover their hospitality and friendliness.
CTN – Louvre-Lens is a unique destination. How would you introduce it?
N.C. – When the decision to build the Louvre-Lens was taken, it was obvious for the General Council and Pas-de-Calais Tourism Board to promote the destination as “Around the Louvre-Lens”. Thanks to its unique mining past, its history and its development prospects, this territory provides the opportunity for tourists to undertake a different discovery.
“Around the Louvre-Lens” offers the opportunity to climb heaps, discover the mining past, taste the traditional cuisine, enjoy the rich cultural context, but also meet the locals and discover their hospitality and friendliness. And all this it’s right next to the Louvre-Lens, which is a unique showcase for the region. Not to forget the mining area inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2012.
Those are two strong elements that make the destination “ALL – Around the Louvre-Lens”, definitely unique!
CTN – Why did you decide to introduce the creative tourism in your strategic plan?
N.B. We commissioned the cabinet of trends, Edelkoort studio, to create a brand, a “concept” for a better characterization of the destination “ALL – Autour du Louvre-Lens”. A concept based on encounters, exchanges and the romantic value of the territory. Building a brand and let it grow.This concept led us naturally to propose the Louvre-Lens’s visitors, to discover the whole territory off the beaten track, far from “clichés” and traditional tourism. Relying on locals but also taking inspiration from our European neighbors and their successful experiences. Thus we have launched singular initiatives to invite travelers to discover the area.
CTN – Which activities and experiences are proposed to creative tourists?
N.C. Our destination is still young, but we have started to realize great things.
Firstly, the “Singing Windows” by Robert Jarvis, an English composer and artist who came to record the sounds of the destination. He achieved to capture the “atmosphere” and then to broadcast it through a device installed on the shop windows of the City center. During three months, the sounds have been arousing the interest and curiosity of the passers. The purpose of this sound walking is to start collaborating with the city traders.
Next, the emotional guidebook realized by the inhabitants, an artistic proposal coming from Strange Cargo (Folkestone – UK). It is more an emotional guide than a tourist guide in which each inhabitant hands down a slice of life, a story of the past, or a good tip that makes you discover the territory with your own eyes. It was a way to offer something different from a tour-guide: a participatory guide that enables tourists to “enter” into the territory. But it is also enjoyed by the locals!
We also organize workshops that enable exchanges between local agents, foreign artists, project managers … through which we achieve to create synergies to promote the destination.
CTN – What is the added value of your creative tourism program?
N.C. Our destination is young, so much remains to be done!
But thanks to the collaborative work and partnerships we have established with the Tourist Offices of the Territory, we have launched a pool of talent whose creative energy will lead us to the development of new projects!
Expert in tourism engineering and territorial strategy, Norbert Crozier after such an experience for “St Etienne Métropole Design”, took the reins of the Louvre Lens Mission Tourism. At the genesis of the creation of the international brand ALL (Louvre Around Lens), on the requirements of Studio Edelkoort, Paris, he works on the shaping and storytelling of this former mining and industrial area.