The Namur area is a charming region of Belgium known for its rich intangible heritage and people friendliness. It was thus a perfect destinatino to welcome the creative tourists. This is why the Tourist Federation of Namur Province launched a program exclusively aimed to this new generation of travelers. The Creative Tourism Network® is very proud to count the Province of Namur within its members and we have interviewed them in order to reveal further about this place-to-do!
CTN. How (and why) was Namur Creative Tourism born?
P.of Namur. Tourists are looking for a new form of tourism, more human, more focused on peer-to-peer relationships, on authentic and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The Federation of Tourism for the Province of Namur had already developed several projects related to this participatory tourism through the network of Namur’s Greeters, for example. It was thus naturally that we turned to the creative tourism. At a time when most European destinations communicate on the same tourist attractions and where undoubtedly Internet connects people, creative tourism offers unique experiences, humanity footprints and conviviality.
In addition, the province of Namur is full of talented people that we wanted to highlight. Some 25 partners have already joined the concept and invite tourists to experience extraordinary meetings in each corner of the province.
– Which activities do you offer?
This is essentially craft skills such as pottery, copperware, weaving, sculpture, creation of paper … In total, 25 artisans are listed by category (stone, earth, wood, metal, paper, textile, glass, graphic arts and flavors). The entire offer can be found on our website www.paysdesvallees.be . Each activity is specified with description and practical information.
– How did you choose them?
We have asked the population through local media and have worked with “The Spiral” and the “Service of Crafts” (Service des Métiers d’Arts) which already bring together passionate people about craft and visual arts who wish to share it with the public.
– How have you designed them?
We met each participant and have sometimes tested the activities they offered. Each time, our team was pleasantly surprised by the wealth, enthusiasm and originality of the people interviewed. They were particularly happy to share their passion, but also proud to present their province in a new light…
– What is your target audience?
Some activities including pottery, creating teddy bear or papermaking are intended directly to families by offering fun activities, presented by people with real expertise with children! Others such as brassware and weaving are perhaps aimed more at couples or friends groups wishing to spend a nice moment of pleasure and relaxation.
– What are the future projects?
Numbers of event-projects will still animate our province, as the “Roosters Parade” held in 2015. Local artists have customized 14 giant cocks, emblems of Wallonia, and then parade throughout the summer at heart of the valleys of the Meuse and Sambre. A beautiful testimony of expertise from our residents!
The challenge now is to make live this new network by increasing promotional activities and by federating even more people who have chosen to join this huge project… In addition, some tourists are still reluctant to change their habits and to turn to the locals as “ambassador” of its region. Let’s show them a new way of being tourist, more human, more respectful, more committed, through this wonderful project that is creative tourism.