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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?

#WTM2016 in London: Professional Influencer Relations & Creative Tourism Update

The World Travel Market, the world’s largest travel trade show after ITB Berlin, is held each year at the beginning of November in London. “Do you still go there, Elena?” Is it really worthwhile, some of my friends & fellow travel industry members are asking me after my fourth visit there this year. Well, yes. I do. What I truly believe in as part of these large gatherings of travel professionals are the so-called “corridor conversations“: Small talks with an enormous potential to lead to future business. As in, “Oh, hello Elena, good to see you again, in actual fact, I was meant to contact you anyway, we have this project / An idea / Do you know someone who … Oh, you do that (too)?!”

And so it goes. Over dinner or over coffee, at one of the exhibitors’ booths or at the Press Centre. Last summer’s TBEX Travel Bloggers Exchange in Stockholm, Sweden for instance has planted the seeds of my participance as a speaker in the #NBEFinland Nordic Bloggers Experience in Helsinki in early 2017: My dear friend Inna-Pirjetta Lahti and I have now closed the final deal over joining up again in London. Same with the Costa Brava Tourism Board, who I now work with on a major campaign involving creative travel #inCostaBrava in the spring of 2017: Moltes gràcies, Jaume i Gemma, for all your trust and support in this project! It has been honouring to land in London straight from Montréal, after spending well over two months in Canada and still “hitting the ground running” speaking Catalan during my business negotiation with you. Merci, you wonderful people from the south! You truly bring the sunshine wherever you go, i em fa molta il.lusió continuar a treballar amb vosaltres!

 

“If there was a heart to this community, it’d be you, Elena. Both you and Inna. You two really bring out the sunshine.”

Alastair McKenzie’s words, one of our true & trusted founding members of the digital travel publishing community, still ring in my ears, causing my heart to flood with emotion. Thank you so much for all that trust, dear Alastair. I see it as my honour, and happiness, to continue sharing, networking & learning from some of the best, most inspirational travel people around me, and why not do business based on heartfelt trust and longterm, mutually beneficial relationships? Here are some of the ones I truly count on among my own networks, and was glad for the opportunity to catch up with, at this year’s World Travel Market in London. Check this out.

For a start, here are my "Niagara girls" at the beautiful Canada booth (where I spend most of my first morning at WTM London ... "Oh Canada, eh!") - Just about the same photo exists from this year's travel trade show in Berlin. I love our continued partnership, dear Anna, dear Kelley!

For a start, here are my “Niagara girls” at the beautiful Canada booth (where I spent most of my first morning at WTM London … “Oh Canada, eh!”). Just about the same photo exists from meeting at this year’s travel trade show, the ITB in Berlin earlier this year. I love seeing our continued partnership evolve, dear Anna, dear Kelley, and shall be back to promote more of your businesses and destinations in Canada soon after my first visit there!

 

Couldn't have wished for a better Monday morning start to the World Travel Market than with these guys : "Curious Claire" & "Danik the Explorer" now form a new blogging couple, the "Curious Explorers" !! :D

Couldn’t have wished for a better Monday morning kick-off to the World Travel Market than sharing a nice cup of coffee with these guys : “Curious Claire” & “Danik the Explorer” now form a new blogging couple, the “Curious Explorers” !! 😀

 

The London World Travel Market ...

The London World Travel Market …

 

... is as much a crazy time of business meetings, networking events & "corridor conversations" with like-minded industry peers ...

… is as much a crazy time of business meetings, networking events & “corridor conversations” with like-minded industry peers …

 

... as it is about spending time in "places you love" ...

… as it is about spending time in “places you love” (and wish to continue networking with) …

 

... as it is about discovering new flavours ...

… discovering new flavours …

 

... catching up with old friends ...

… catching up with old friends …

 

... reinforcing new friendships made, such as handing dear Jantine Kregten, of Ottawa Tourism Board, my book "The Creative Traveler's Handbook" ...

… reinforcing recent friendships made, such as handing dear Jantine Kregten, of the Ottawa Tourism Board, a hand-signed copy of my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, and devising plans to be back in the Canadian capital city for their 150th anniversary in 2017 …

 

... and finally meeting the complete team that's behind "Aboriginal Canada", including Dené

… and finally meeting the complete team behind “Aboriginal Canada”, including Will Harding here on the left from Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia, as well as Dené Sinclair, of Aboriginal Canada Tourism Association based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

 

Canada, too, would not have been the same without you, my dear dear Barbara Ackermann : Thank you so much for all your trust and support in all of these months ...

Canada, too, would not have been the same without you, my dear Barbara Ackermann : Thank you so much for all your trust and support during these months of travelling, networking, and sharing #ExploreCanada …

 

... and THANK YOU - Moltes gràcies, dear Jaume, dear Gemma, for our meaningful and engaging project talk about creative travel #inCostaBrava next year ! So excited to be working with you soon again !!

… and THANK YOU – Moltes gràcies, dear Jaume, dear Gemma, for our meaningful and engaging project talk about creative travel #inCostaBrava next year ! So excited to be working with you soon again !!

 

As far as this year’s learning curve is concerned, there has been a rather interesting talk about “YouTube & the continuing rise of video”, presented by the team @Traverse at London World Travel Market’s “Inspire Theatre”.

Know your niche, find your target, leverage off established messages from your partners: The keys to successful travel video publications are not necessarily new, but rather read like a to-do list that can be applied to almost any kind of (digital) travel publications. Here is a short summary of what has been said that day, including a statement from each of the panel’s participants:

 

Have a look here in order to watch the entire session on YouTube, really recommended for some of its key messages from top vloggers and digital (travel video) influencers:

“Most people (still) think: Doing video is expensive. Lengthy, time-intense. However, Social Media videos are nothing like that, where post production has shrunk from several weeks to a day! Technology nowadays makes it possible to shoot great video anywhere, all the time. Do seek commission work from vloggers. It really is the way forward.”

Thanks for that super interesting video session, my dear ...

Thanks for a really good recap on what professional travel video publications are all about …

 

... and thanks dear Niamh Shields, for "side-tracking" me ...

… and thanks dear Niamh Shields, for “side-tracking” me away from busy London World Travel Market, eventually …

 

... recommending we chilax a little at the local London shops ...

… recommending we chillax a little at the local London shops …

 

... where an all-time favourite of mine is a stroll down Carnaby Street, at the heart of Bohemian Soho London. Still love the place, though it has become quite touristy over the years!

… where an all-time favourite of mine is a stroll down Carnaby Street, at the heart of Bohemian Soho London. Still love the place, though it has become quite touristy over the years!

 

Last but not least, let me give you a “Creative Tourism” update. My kind of update, as expressed by the World Travel Market hosting a session called “Creative Tourism: A Necessary Update”. Well done, Caroline Couret & the entire Creative Tourism Network!

It is lovely, and touching, to walk into a conference room at the London World Travel Market knowing it is full of people with exactly the same mindset, interest, and values in travel. Well over a hundred have come (again) this year to join our creative travel session, where even the tourism director of such a prestigious travel destination as Tuscany, Italy (!) speaks of the “importance to re-evaluate” and “focus on niche forms of cultural tourism, such as creative tourism, for our destination …”. This is honouring, and sends out a great message worldwide: Creative travel has long become a globally recognised travel trend that is being picked up more & more around the world – as my recent experience travelling in Canada has also shown.

Caroline Couret, of Barcelona Creative Tourism & the Creative Tourism Network ...

Caroline Couret, of Barcelona Creative Tourism & the Creative Tourism Network …

 

... introduces us to the "growing family" of creative travel networks around the globe ...

… introduces us to the “growing family” of creative travel networks around the globe, many of which I have experienced and written about in my book following my #CreativElenaRTW trip in 2014

 

... where even Tuscany now joins in ...

… where even Tuscany now joins in …

 

... and my friends & fellow industry leaders are eager to hear more about : Thank you Milou, Inna, Sarah & Terry, for your continued support in the wake of promoting creative travel once more at #NBEFinland - soon, we shall be reunited again!

… and my friends & fellow industry leaders are eager to hear more about : Thank you Milou, Inna, Sarah & Terry, for your continued support in the wake of promoting creative travel once more at #NBEFinland – soon, we shall be reunited again!

 

Curious to see who else was here? Here are all of my photographs of this year’s London World Travel Market:

 

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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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