Creative Tourism Awards: interview with Ester Ippolito, director of

Experiences to live, or even just to dream: this is what offers, a web magazine that focuses attention on all the events related to the dances of the various countries (festivals, shows, appointments, rallies, internships, books, exhibitions), also inviting you to travel to the countries of origin to discover their history, traditions and culture and to dance – from Latin dances to tango, from flamenco to Arabic dance to Indian dance, from pizzica (Salento typical dance) to tammurriata (traditional dance of Campania)… – in a very special atmosphere. A journey at an endless dance pace.

“Creative tourism, in addition to renewing the sense of vacation and travel, produces culture, reveals places, deseasonalizing, and stimulates a new economy not only in the cities but in the villages, in the smaller centers, richer in traditions and genuineness.”


Founded by the Creative Tourism Network®, the “Creative Tourism Awards” each year select the initiatives, companies, and destinations around the world that bet on creative tourism to create a virtuous circle around their cultural heritage, creativity, and human values.

Ballareviaggiando, has been awarded among hundreds of proposals, as “Best Creative Travel Promotor“, in the category of tourist intermediation, for excellence in converting dance and music experiences around the world into a new travel purpose, offered in the online magazine in synergy with local tour operators.

We met Ester Ippolito, director of the web magazine, to find out more about their project!

Ballareviaggiando (literally “dancing traveling”) represents a very original combination that combines two worlds related to free time in a single leisure proposal, focusing on entertainment and local culture. How did the idea of ​​creating “Ballareviaggiando Academy” come about?

The Ballareviaggiando Academy project is a direct consequence of the philosophy behind the online magazine, born in 2011: that is to know the world through the filter of dance, a dance linked to the territory and the culture of the place. “Under every sky and with every rhythm” is our claim. A new motivation to travel around the world, observe, practice dancing where possible with workshops, or attend ethnic performances or festivals. And for those who cannot always travel, understand that dance is not just physical exercise or just a technique but it is the story of people and places. Hence the idea, in 2016, of proposing with the brand Ballareviaggiando Academy stages of traditional Italian dances (pizzica, tarantella, tammurriata, etc.) to Italian and foreign tourists and MICE niche to bring them closer to an important cultural heritage of our country, an opportunity of celebration and socialization in a cultural and memory dimension. We have thus developed workshops proposals with an aperitif (or without) to face a pleasant collective experience. The teacher, Francesca Trenta, Associazione Il Fluto Magico, dancer, IALS teacher and researcher, has an adequate curriculum to offer lessons rich in content and engaging at the same time. We have also proposed stages near the capital, Rome, just to give an example, in Nemi, an enchanting village that has in its calendar events such as the Strawberry Festival and Nemi in Folk, a meeting of dance and popular music between various regions. A particular atmosphere where it is possible to dance and meet more than one tradition. These are ideas aimed at enriching the Italian stay of visitors and the incoming programs of tour operators or travel agencies, hoteliers who offer original activities to their customers, through which we operate.

About the profile of travelers: who choose your proposals, can we talk about a cultural tourist with a passion for dance, a foreign dancer who wants to know the Italian reality, a creative tourist who always wants to try different experiences? Is there a segmentation of the demand? How has the visitor profile evolved over the last few years?

Yes, curiosity, passion for dance and the desire to get involved are the essential qualities of our interlocutor, transversal by age. We have had requests from both young people – we launched the project at the historic Ials in Rome, the National Center of Music, Dance and Theater, precisely to stimulate this segment – but there is also interest from a more mature audience. Compared to the past, the desire to have different experiences, which can enrich them, has absolutely grown, to be told on social networks or to friends on their return from the trip, to be combined with classic tours among monuments and museums. An experience that may not end with the return home, rather it stimulates the search for similar courses in your country.

Intangible heritage, in this case dance, is undoubtedly a vector for introducing travelers to the culture and DNA of the Italian regions in an authentic and fun way. Being an element so strongly related to local traditions and the history of the past, did you encounter any limitations when promoting some specific regional dances?

No, I would say that those who embrace this type of experience are really open, they want to try, experiment, love stories and also deal with physical fatigue. It creates interaction. The internships that we have proposed twice to groups of Arab women, from Dubai, in collaboration with Fragrance Tour of Rome, have been significant. Eager to try, to know, smiling and happy: we danced pizzica and tarantella all together with great simplicity. And in the end it was they who wanted to show us the steps of oriental dance. An equal exchange. And a large group of French people – a project that later vanished – had requested internships for the wives and the development of an exhibition, spectators for the husbands. Of course at the moment, with Covid everything is at a standstill, but let’s not despair.

What is your opinion regarding creative tourism in Italy? Do you think that the Italian tourism potential is adequately exploited, in particular the intangible cultural heritage?

Italy can give a lot in terms of creative tourism, it does not lack resources, from gastronomy to wine, from crafts to dance to the “made in Italy”, there are many new opportunities to entertain tourists in the best sense of the term, with fun and knowledge. . But the product is needed, the ideas must be concretized and made accessible by those who make up the tourist offer and by those who have, more than us, the flows in their hands. In proposing our project, beyond the appreciation of the idea, it was not easy to involve partners from the tourism world. With some exceptions, we have found little sensitivity or perhaps fear in proposing something new not yet tested. Such a pity.

What are the possible synergies that could be formed in Italy when it comes to tourism and creative industries? What do you think of creative tourism as an engine to restart the tourism sector and more generally the Italian economy?

Those who work in tourism should ask themselves: what are the new ways to attract new tourists, to bring back and retain the old ones, to color return tourism? There are a thousand ways, and I think the creative industries are ready to respond immediately. Creative tourism, in addition to renewing the sense of vacation and travel, produces culture, reveals places, deseasonalizing, and stimulates a new economy not only in the cities but in the villages, in the smaller centers, richer in traditions and genuineness. And I think, right now, we really need it.


More about

The portal, born at the end of 2010 in the wake of creative tourism, refreshed its image in 2018 with new graphics, more emphasis on photos and new columns: Paesindanza, focus on the various countries seen through the filter of dance and their traditions; Protagonisti, with interviews with professionals who live dance in all its dimensions and specificities with passion; Eventi (festivals, shows, concerts); Italian Popular Music and Dances to give breath to this important cultural heritage; Schools, with updates on courses, internships and initiatives; Thematic Travel, a section where you can find themed proposals with the main dance; Music and words, theater and music; Turismopiù, that is travel ideas, tours, destinations in Italy and abroad, trends, flavors, culture, art, numbers, tourism policies; News, constantly updated and an ever richer Video Gallery curated by Elio Ippolito.

Interview conducted by Ilaria Coribello