Friday, October 3, 2008

Conference on Creative Tourism

In the first global gathering of its kind, delegates from around the world met in Santa Fe this week to explore the concept of Creative Tourism. The comprehensive program included talks, seminars, and interaction with Santa Fe artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, craftspeople, and business experts.

What is creative tourism? The definition developed cooperatively by UNESCO’s Creative Cities is “engaging travelers in a community’s culture through active participation which provides the visitor an authentic experience of a community’s heritage”. The goal is to promote the social, economic, and cultural development of municipalities in both the developed and developing world.

Why did UNESCO choose the city format?

1. Cities harbor the entire range of cultural actors throughout the creative industry chain from the creative act to production and distribution.
2. As breeding grounds for creative clusters, cities have great potential to harness creativity, and connecting cities can mobilize this potential for global impact
3. Cities are small enough to affect local cultural industries but also large enough to serve as gateways to international markets.

Santa Fe holds the distinction of being the only Creative City in the U.S., joining Aswan, Berlin, Bologna, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lyon, Melbourne, Montreal, Popayan, Columbia, and Seville.

I was able to attend the Wednesday session, and in the following days, I will discuss our roundtable on Gastronomy, which attracted delegates from Japan, France, Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona, Bologna, as well as several of us New Mexicans.

In addition, I hope to share with you ideas from a fascinating lunch speaker, Geoffrey Godbey, a specialist on re-positioning of leisure and tourism services for the future.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fascinating hope you will write more about it