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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?

The “Power of Community Building through Social Media” in the context of religious cultural heritage tourism in Europe.

“Dear Elena. I told them I want you to speak at our cultural heritage tourism conference in Vicenza later this year. About the power of community building, digital communication strategies, and the use of Social Media. Why? Because I believe it is important – even, or especially, in the context of religious cultural heritage.

I believe even the Vatican will be there ..”

My dear friend & EuropeTour networking partner Lilian Grootswagers, of the Belgium-based organisation “FRH – Future For Religious Heritage”, trusts me. Ever since we met about a year ago during the kick-off event of our EuropeTour partnership, Lilian and I share a feeling of mutual respect, trust, and business development, aided by our clever and no less charming “mastermind” colleague Karin Drda-Kühn from Germany.

Funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, my colleagues across Italy, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Germany and Belgium, meet several times a year to discuss & develop (Social Media) guidelines and training modules for stakeholders in cultural tourism development. For me personally, it is a very rewarding project to be a part of, and I feel truly honoured having been asked to speak at a conference of such a prestigious format: The FRH Biennial Conference called “Tourists, Travellers & Pilgrims”.

“This will be a great opportunity, Elena. Both for you as well as the for the entire audience of (predominantly) church representatives, historians, networking partners, cultural institutions, and more.”

 

The stakes are high – yet so interesting at the same time, “translating” our usual spiel of the importance of Social Media & Community Building to an audience of European Union, church & cultural heritage institution representatives.

I have worked hard on this presentation. Shared & discussed it with my friends in Canada, where I was still travelling at the time, pulling in feedback & video material from my trusted friends at StoryTravelers and their amazing “Hymn to Jordan” video project. Key to my message, a message supported and shared by the entire industry of online influencers and community builders, is that “Social Media pans out to be flirtatious, inspirational storytelling led by digital influencers in a global market place. Key success principles include developing (business) targets, innovative thinking and a focus on achieving long-term trust relationships. All of this is embedded in the paradigm shift from cultural to creative travel. Think outside the box: When was the last time you did something for the first time? Then go out and do it. Be the best you can be. Together with your peers and networks, you have the power to go far indeed …”

Now sit back, relax, and be prepared to gasp, “I want to go to Jordan“! Now 🙂 What an amazing work, dear Caspar Diderik, as I continue to be impressed with the visual art you are creating here:

 

“If we care for our future, we have to be aware of our past. A great part of heritage in Europe is religious, and we need to address people’s concerns when it comes to protecting and safeguarding its future.”

A great many more presentations are being held during the FRH Biennial Conference in Vicenza, such as this quote given in the opening speech by Olivier de Rohan Chabot, the president of “Future For Religious Heritage”.

I really enjoyed listening to Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit “Culture Policy and Intercultural Dialogue” at the European Commission, too, who in his keynote talks about the “challenge of reaching out to the public, a total of 28 European member states. We really need organisations, such as FRH, to help us there. In 2018, when new member states join the EU and we commemorate the end of the Second World War, the aim is to have even more access to monuments and sites during the ‘European Heritage Days’, as more and more bridges are being built through national activities.”

European heritage in the context of the digital age : Threat or opportunity ..?

European heritage in the context of the digital age : Threat or opportunity ..?

 

My personal belief is that wherever people come together ...

My personal belief is that wherever people come together …

 

... leading a way forward (this picture, by the way, shows beautiful Vicenza, near the cities of Padua & Venice at night) ...

… leading a way forward (this picture, by the way, shows beautiful Vicenza, near the cities of Padua & Venice at night) …

 

... there are opportunities for success, as the very interesting presentation by Christin Prange shows.

… there are opportunities for success, as the very interesting presentation about the “Transromanica” European Routes by Christin Prange shows.

 

Christin and I take to each other naturally, and immediately. She virtually rolls out the red carpet for my subsequent presentation about the “Power of Community Building through Social Media”: Her talk focuses on the virtues of having worked with digital influencers on the proliferation of the Transromanica Route in South-Eastern Europe, where several of my international colleagues have really led the way in terms of active experiences and promotion of the network.

Christin also stresses that “religious orders have deeply influenced the European continent over centuries. In fact, we may consider pilgrimage as one of the oldest forms of tourism! The promotion of pilgrimage paths is at the heart of the activities of the Council of Europe, and the ‘European Cultural Routes’ programmes is but one of its offspring networks. Building churches has always been about education, and providing shelter to people travelling across the continent, incorporating values of universal degree: Unity and diversity. Through our international website, design & audio guides, publications in travel magazines such as, ‘A fascinating journey through medieval times’, as well as the more recent cooperation with bloggers, influencers & video producers, we believe we are achieving a way forward of raising awareness among a wider European community of travel and culture enthusiasts.”

Have a look here for the inspiring “Cultural Routes – Blogging Europe” travel video directed by Emiliano Bechi Gabrielli in partnership with iAmbassador:

Thank you for a great presentation, dear Christin, and thank you everybody for listening and joining in!

Thank you for a great presentation, dear Christin, and thank you everybody for listening and joining in!

 

What a reward to close the conference with a day trip to perennially beautiful, charming Venice ...

What a reward to close the conference with a day trip to perennially beautiful, charming Venice …

 

... where we learn that "every European has two countries: Their own, and Italy." Plus of course, what it means to be "Venetian" - a proud feeling in its very own (historical) right.

… where we learn that “every European has two countries: Their own, and Italy.” Plus of course, what it means to be “Venetian” – a proud feeling in its very own (historical) right.

 

I cannot fail to be moved by the love of this old couple for the precious books at the Verona library here ...

I cannot fail to be moved by the love of this old couple for the precious books at the Verona library here, some of them well over 500 years old …

 

... where my own, by comparison, is such a young, "one-year-old baby": Thank you, Jono Hart, for your enthusiasm and sharing about marrying the European Church Heritage with Music, and your innovative cooperation with the Church of England and Dave Steward Entertainment (Eurythmics). Exciting times ahead for European Cultural Heritage I'm sure !!

… where my own book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, by comparison, is such a young, “one-year-old baby”: Thank you, Jono Hart, for your enthusiasm and sharing about marrying the European Church Heritage with Music, and your innovative cooperation with the Churches Conservation Trust and Dave Steward Entertainment (Eurythmics). Exciting times ahead for European Cultural Heritage !!

 

Thank you, Karin ...

Thank you, Karin Drda-Kühn …

 

... thank you, my EuropeTour family, for making it all possible: Here is to celebrating many more successes and innovative movements now and in the future of Europe!

… thank you, my EuropeTour family, for making it all possible: Here is to celebrating many more successes and innovative movements now and in the future of Europe!

 

If you want to learn even more about the FRH Future For Religious Heritage Conference, be sure to follow up with their website and publications here: http://www.frh-europe.org.

All of my conference photos, including our day trips to Vicenza, Venice & Verona, are published here:

 

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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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2 Comments

  1. Monika and Petar Fuchs

    Sehr interessant, Elli. Das ist der richtige Weg!

    Reply
    • Elena

      Vielen Dank für die Unterstützung, liebe Monika, lieber Petar! 

      Wir machen weiter – auf unserem, “richtigen” Weg. 😀

      Herzlichen Gruß!

      Reply

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