The World Tourism Fair, which took place from March 16 to 19, 2023 in Paris, hosted 3 conferences led by the Creative Tourism Network® (CTN), as well as the announcement of French destinations labeled Creative Friendly, and the winners of the Creative Tourism Awards.
The opening session, entitled “Creative Tourism: France’s Know-How”, highlighted French destinations that rely on creative tourism to diversify their tourism offer, especially out of season, while recreating the DNA of their territory, by co-creating creative experiences based on their intangible heritage and therefore their know-how.
The director of the Creative Tourism Network®, Caroline Couret, insisted on the assets of creative tourism to meet the expectations of new travelers searching for authentic experiences, but also and above all, to highlight the diversity and cultural richness of French territories, via their traditions and local specificities. It also demonstrated the adaptability of creative tourism to destinations as diverse as the Magdalen Islands (Quebec), Medellin (Colombia), or French cities labeled Creative Friendly such as Perpignan Méditerranée, Biot, Anduze and now Autour du Louvre-Lens (ALL) and Cannes.
The representatives of these destinations, Norbert Crozier, Director – ALL – Autour du Louvre-Lens of Pas-de-Calais Tourisme, and Laure Toma-Auneau, Leisure Tourism Director for Cannes Convention & Visitors Bureau, illustrated this diversity with examples as unusual as they were inspiring.
Whether it is through creative workshops in the Louvre-Lens Museum, sessions to learn how to cook the best French fries, workshops to create giant basketry, or traditional lace, Norbert Crozier and Solène Servin, in charge of creative tourism, have highlighted the importance of developing a unique tourist offer, which satisfies both locals and tourists. The destination around the Louvre-Lens, already recognized for its Louvre museum, its avant-garde design, and the gastronomy of the Hauts-de-France, now adds an important piece to its puzzle, by making creative tourism the link between the various local actors, concerned at their level, by tourism.
For Cannes, which officially joined the Creative Tourism Network® at the World Tourism Fair, Laure Toma-Auneau emphasized the assets of the destination, the favorable climate that allows activities to be offered throughout the year, but above all, the sustainable development strategy that aims to demonstrate that luxury, with which Cannes is associated, is not incompatible – if not the opposite – with a more human, local tourism, which benefits all local populations, through experiences such as Provencal cooking classes, jewelry creation workshops or artistic recycling of tarpaulins and carpets from the Palais des Festivals, to name a few. For Laure Toma-Auneau, ” this labeling comes to affirm and concretize this innovative positioning in phase with the Raison d’Etre of the Palais des Festivals and Congresses, Company with a Mission, which intends ” to welcome the World sustainably “. It also allows us to stand out from our competitors: Cannes is there where we do not expect it, with experiential offers for all tastes, all year long “.
This tour of France’s know-how has also received worldwide recognition, as the Semaine du Tourisme économique et des Savoir-Faire, organized by the Fédération des Offices de Tourisme de Bretagne, was awarded the trophy for the Best Strategy for the Development of Creative Tourism; a trophy awarded by the Creative Tourism Awards, among more than 150 international projects. This initiative, which highlights the industrial heritage and know-how of Breton companies, is supported by a particularly ambitious strategy to revitalize the economic fabric, as it is carried out on the scale of an entire region, and is inclusive, aimed at both locals and national tourists.
Creative tourism finally took on an international dimension, with a workshop for tourism professionals, during which Caroline Couret presented colorful examples and best practices of Creative Friendly destinations, located all over the world: from South Korea to Brazil, through Bulgaria, Spain, Quebec or Portugal.
Without forgetting a conference dedicated to the project of the Culinary and Creative Route of Tunisia through which, the Creative Tourism Network® accompanies the local Tunisian actors, from the sectors of agriculture and tourism, in the conception of a strategy and experiences of creative and sustainable tourism. A legitimate highlight of this virtuous tourism and all the professionals who work to make tourism meaningful!