2nd International Creative Tourism Network Conference in Paris

From 6 to 7 December, 2012, Paris was host to the 2nd International Conference of the “Creative Tourism Network“. More than 200 delegates from over 20 countries in Europe, Thailand & the United States have come here to develop, discuss & debate trends in creative & “relational” tourism involving active, hands-on engagement of visitors with their respective destination. Invited by the city of Paris, I also get to explore the mighty town hall (Hôtel De Ville) where the conference took place. These magnificent rooms may even leave Versailles look second best!

Conference Hotspot for the 2nd International Conference on Creative Tourism: The Hôtel de Ville in the heart of the city.

Conference Hotspot for the 2nd International Conference on Creative Tourism: The Hôtel de Ville in the heart of the city.


Während der heiteren Stimmung unter Gleichgesinnten angesichts dieser internationalen "Kreativ"-Konferenz werden so manche neue Ideen geboren, Projekte beschlossen und Möglichkeiten der Zusammenarbeit auf internationaler Ebene diskutiert.

The relaxed atmosphere of the conference makes more many small-talk opportunities, with new projects being thought of, contacts being made & possibilities for further (international) collaboration being discussed.


Von links nach rechts: Laurie Buchte (Region Ardennes-Luxembourgeoises), Elena Paschinger (Kreativ Reisen Österreich), Caroline Couret (Barcelona Creative Tourism), Greg Richards (Professor & International Creative Tourism Research Expert): Die vermutlich größten "Fans" von Kreativtourismus International!

From left to right: Laurie Buchet (Region Ardennes-Luxembourgeoises), Elena Paschinger (Kreativ Reisen Österreich), Caroline Couret (Barcelona Creative Tourism), Greg Richards (Professor & International Creative Tourism Research Expert): Probably the most enthusiastic “fan community” of Creative Tourism worldwide!


“À l’heure du touriste créatif”: Developing Creative Tourism

“If people participate, they are left enthusiastic, wish to come back and next time also bring their friends/family!” Sounds logical? Well, you might want to become the next creative traveller yourself. Which is why I’m taking you, dear readers, straight into the heart of Paris for some great, creative feedback here. Check this out!

An interactive, “one of a kind” workshop: Here, conference participants learn about the Art Burlesque by ladies who know. Just before, a choir led by a professional tutor and singer engages the audience with real French chansons: You can’t help but tune into “Oooh, Champs-Elysées …” .


“Vous avez une passion dans la vie? Venez la pratiquer à Paris!”

“We don’t sell Paris. We attract people to live their passion in Paris”, says Laurent Queige of the city of Paris: CreativeParis.Info. More than 200 studios and creative spaces, 1000 workshops p.a. attracting some 80.000 visitors from 150 different countries are prove to the success of this initiative, which has officially been launched in February 2012 in order to attract primarily repeat visitors to the city of Paris.

“Paris doesn’t just want your money. It also wants to become your friend!” (Prof. Greg Richards, International Creative Tourism Network Conference)

Dass die Stadt Paris über die Plattform www.creativeparis.info noch zahlreiche weitere, interaktive Angebote & Workshops für Besucher bereithält, zeigt sich beispielsweise in der Organisation "Vacances Musicales Sans Frontière": Ein interessanter Vortrag von Gaston Tavel.

Besides, the city of Paris knows many more examples of stimulating creative tourism, as presented by “Vacances Musicales Sans Frontières”: An interesting talk given by Gaston Tavel during this year’s Creative Tourism Network Conference.


Auch weitere (internationale) Beispiele wie das erfolgreiche Konzept von "Maker Faire", ein Start-Up aus dem englischsprachigen Raum das auf lokale Interaktion & Kreativität setzt und heute weltweit jährliche Veranstaltungen organisiert, sind präsentiert worden. Ian Brunswick aus Dublin: www.sciencegallery.com

Further international examples for successful development ensue, such as “Maker Faire”, a start-up enterprise using grassroot-level support in order to organize creative crafts events worldwide. Ian Brunswick talks to us from Dublin: www.sciencegallery.com


Parallel dazu berichtet der renommierte Experte für Kultur- und Kreativtourismus, Greg Richards, zur konzeptuellen Entwicklung von Kreativtourismus, welcher mit Kulturtourismus allgemein und dem (neu geprägten Ausdruck des) "Beziehungstourismus" im speziellen in Verbindung steht.

Parallel to countries, cities and creative entrepreneurs introducing business models on creative tourism, Greg Richards, who himself has many years of experience in researching, writing and talking about cultural and creativel tourism, gladly embeds the practical discussions in a more conceptual framework: “Relational Tourism” is the word of the hour.


“Being unique is the greatest competitive force you have.”

Garry White, CEO von European Cities Marketing, spricht mit Eifer über die Notwendigkeit, die (gerade) europäische Städte ins Auge fassen müssen: Der Wettbewerbsvorteil von morgen lautet Einzigartigkeit und ein ständiges Neu-Erfinden seiner selbst in Anpassung an internationale Marktentwicklungen.

Garry White, CEO of European Cities Marketing, talks with passion about the necessity of (European) cities to address the need for uniqueness and constant re-invention in order to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market environment.


In diesem Zusammenhang freut es mich umso mehr, erfolgreich das seit zwei Jahren bestehende Netzwerk Österreichs vorstellen zu dürfen und mit zahlreichen konkreten Erfahrungsbeispielen aus der Praxis für Kreativtourismus aufzutreten: www.kreativreisen.at

In this context, I am all the happier have been invited to present our growing network Creative Tourism Austria featuring many practical examples of two years of experience in market development and cooperation on a regional, national and international level: www.kreativreisen.at


Gemeinsam mit Victor Cucurull und Caroline Couret (Vorstellung des International Creative Tourism Network & Barcelona Creative Tourism) sowie Laurie Buchet aus Luxembourg (v.l.n.r.) haben wir an diesen Tagen wirklich etwas erreicht: "Relationships as a source of value", wie wir als Trend erkennen und erfahren.

Together with Victor Cucurull and Caroline Couret (who formally introduced the International Creative Tourism Network & the organization Barcelona Creative Tourism) as well as Laurie Buchet from Luxembourg (from left to right), we have all achieved a lot these days: “Relationships as a source of value” is a trend we are only too ready to confirm.


“Get together: (Celebrating the) Effects of Human Exchange”

For many years, Greg Richards has been leading the field of cultural tourism research, strategy development, consulting and advice concerning “Creative Tourism”. As part of this year’s Creative Tourism Network Conference in Paris, he perfectly sums up what many others are busy developing market models around:

“The argument ist: There is a basic need for co-presence. (…) Everyday life becomes a source of creativity. We can now intervene in the production of culture, we can make our own films, we can share them, edit them and so on. It’s not so much the economic capital that is important. It’s the relations that develop!

‘Tourism’ is an extremely contested word. We are now dealing with what we may call ‘temporary citizens‘, as (… ) people are increasingly interested in ‘life stories‘ (…). Creative tourism is not about tourists being creative: It’s about mobile people being creative and co-creative with the locals of a certain destination.”

I guess this is our “manifesto” for more active and enjoyful creative travel opportunities that foster understanding of each other’s cultures and broaden the mind of all travellers.
Check out the following photo presentation for an overview of all participants, presentations & impressions of the Creative Tourism Network Conference in Paris 2012:

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