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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

#SomosPatrimonio: Creative Travel Keynote Speech in Coimbra, Portugal

“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.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Giving my speech at Turismo de Portugal’s Tourism Talks Pro …

Giving my speech at Turismo de Portugal’s Tourism Talks Pro …

 

… is made even more special by the ambiance of the ancient monastery, “O Mosteiro da Santa Clara-a-Velha” in the university town of Coimbra.

… is made even more special by the ambiance of the ancient monastery, “O Mosteiro da Santa Clara-a-Velha” in the university town of Coimbra.

 

My keynote also focused on having published the first ever travel guide specifically aimed at promoting creative travel, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” …

My keynote also focused on having published the first ever travel guide specifically aimed at promoting creative travel, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” …

 

… and saw the introduction and presentation …

… and saw the introduction and presentation …

 

… of many more innovative (digital) travel services around Portugal, such as “Inviita”.

… of many more innovative (digital) travel services around Portugal, such as “Inviita” presented by Bernardo Véstia, the company’s chief marketing officer.

 

Staying connected …

Staying connected …

 

… and learning from each other …

… and learning from each other …

 

… is an essential part of the SPIRA’s Heritage Fair in Coimbra.

… is an essential part of the SPIRA’s Heritage Fair in Coimbra, as their general director Catarina Valenca Goncalves stresses in her speech about the event.

 

To conclude the event, the organizers …

To conclude the event, the organizers …

 

… made for a magical “video mapping” performance on the outer walls of the ancient monastery, reminding me of the mapping light shows I had seen in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates as well as in Girona, Catalonia.

… made for a magical “video mapping” performance on the outer walls of the ancient monastery, reminding me of the mapping light shows I had seen in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates as well as in Girona, Catalonia.

 

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.

The city of Coimbra …

The city of Coimbra …

 

… is always worth the visit, especially now during autumn still offering mild temperatures and opportunities for sunny city strolls.

… is always worth the visit, especially now during autumn still offering mild temperatures and opportunities for sunny city strolls.

 

Fado is literally omnipresent, such as at this café …

Fado is literally omnipresent, such as at this café …

 

… and good food is never far either: Check out “Zé Manel dos Ossos” for a hearty meat feast or this wonderful seafood restaurant just opposite “Santa-Clara-a-Velha” monastery: The Arroz Marisqueiro is hugely unforgettable indeed!

… and good food is never far either: Check out “Zé Manel dos Ossos” for a hearty meat feast or this wonderful seafood restaurant just opposite “Santa-Clara-a-Velha” monastery: The Arroz Marisqueiro is hugely unforgettable indeed!

 

Boa apetite & boa viagem a Coimbra 🙂

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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