Reporting optimistic and encouraging facts during a pandemic period may seem utopian or even indecent. And yet, beautiful stories can also arise from extreme situations. People are capable of the best, and this is what the team and students of the Excelia La Rochelle Group – the first French school of tourism to have obtained the UNWTO.TedQual certification for all of its courses since 2009 – have demonstrated, together with the Creative Tourism Network®. This international organization was in charge of conducting a two-day seminar on Creative Tourism Management. Initially planned in face-to-face and with an interactive format, the seminar has urgently been redesigned to be run remotely.
Reformatting, in just a few hours, contents intended to generate the active participation, exchanges, and co-creation of the thirty-six students of the Bachelor in Tourism and Hospitality, now spread across the globe, was certainly not an easy task. But the challenge has been largely overcome, thanks to the expertise and responsiveness of the Excelia-Group management and academic teams – including of course the key role of its IT department – but also thanks to the great adaptability and proactivity of the students.
Not only did they scrupulously respect the schedules of the e-learning sessions, but they also committed with the same professional rigor, be they confined in France, Taiwan, the Netherlands, as well as from improvised workspaces such as a station platform or an airport departure lounge. By the way, the projects carried out under such conditions have also demonstrated high quality, both in terms of their relevance and their result.
For Caroline Couret, director of the Creative Tourism Network® and the Creative Tourism Academy, “beyond the challenge, such an experience highlights the importance of engineering and collective intelligence, as well as empathy and team spirit. Such human values characterize both the DNA of Excelia-Group and Creative Tourism Network®, as well as, more generally, creative tourism, as a new tourism paradigm, aiming to meet the demand of travelers in search of meaning, while creating value chains for the territories.”
More than ever, the resilience of the tourism sector has been demonstrated through this great professional and human adventure, which augurs an even more united and virtuous post-COVID19 era.
Let us dare to put this richness and creativity at the center of our projects! The more we use them, the more they will develop!
Could we imagine more sustainable resources?
Let us grant technologies their right role, that of connecting people, and especially, in today’s “confined” world!
The situation is certainly difficult, but let us appreciate the great synergies that emerge from it.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone for having so brilliantly converted this new paradigm into a world of future opportunities.
Take care of yourself!
Excelia Group et La Rochelle Tourism and Hospitality School : le choix de la continuité des enseignements avant l’heure