“Dear Elena Paschinger. I’m Pedro Matias from Turismo de Portugal. We are organizing a cycle of debates called ‘Tourism Talks Pro‘ aimed at travel professionals and entrepreneurs wishing to exchange knowledge on business innovation & forward thinking. It is held in Coimbra as part of the 3rd edition of the so-called ‘Heritage Fair’. Considering your knowledge and skills in tourism product development and our brief chat at the World Food Tourism Summit in Lisbon, we would appreciate your presence as our keynote speaker, focusing on trends, innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe. …”
Keynote speaker. My heart jumps at reading Pedro’s words. Carefully, I read his message again: Keynote speaker. Conference opening. Whoa! After moderating a panel discussion on community development through creative industries for the United Nations World Tourism Organization earlier this year, I consider this to be another important milestone in my professional travel writing & business consulting career. Up until now, that is (always reach for the stars ..!). And next only to launching my dear travel book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook“. 😀 But keynote speech … for many months in the lead-up to the event, I stay fascinated by the taste of these words.
Coimbra Heritage Fair, organized by the local heritage company SPIRA, is nothing less innovative than my approach to preparing their keynote speech. The days in Coimbra, being back in my beloved Portugal … a perfect match, so to say.
And a professional, well-organized and welcoming one at that. Have a look at their video to learn more about the SPIRA 2015 Heritage Fair event, as well as watching me deliver my keynote speech:
Tourism Talks Pro: Innovate in products, innovate in management.
Participating in a networking event like Coimbra’s Heritage Fair does not only guarantee an important contribution to the overall success of the conference. For me, it is also about the many learning opportunities that arise from meeting and exchanging ideas with other speakers and participants. They include important topics such as good management practices in the travel industry, new services provided by public and private enterprises as well as innovation and business development.
Besides focusing on creative travel networks around the globe, I made a point of stressing the importance to think “outside the box”. This includes, but is not limited to, the many opportunities provided in networking with professional travel bloggers from all “walks of digital life” – video content producers, Social Media experts and professional digital publishers and marketers. Have a look here to learn more as to what this move entails, including a stunning video performance by talented artist & fellow travel publisher Caspar Diederik exemplifying the points of my keynote speech.
Besides all the networking & business focus of my visit to Coimbra, I highly recommend you to visit this beautiful university town for … food & Fado!
Finally, being back in Portugal provided me with the opportunity to take a real look at the city of Coimbra – especially after I had to give it a miss last spring aiming straight for my creative travel retreat in Cerdeira near the famous university town. Upon first glance, I am struck by two things: The university building is placed higher than the cathedral, stressing the town’s importance and long-standing tradition for education. And Fado: This traditional Portuguese music is quite widespread around the cafés, bars and restaurants of Coimbra. Be sure to visit Restaurant O Trovador as well as the café on downtown’s main square, reminiscent of our own Viennese coffeehouse culture: Both are excellent places to feel and soak up the Fado magic of Portugal.
Boa apetite & boa viagem a Coimbra 🙂