… however small the actual percentage of creative travellers may be, there is definitely a growing demand, and a growing interest, for creative tourism.
Only recently, we have been visiting the Austrian National Tourist Board (ANTO) in Vienna for a presentation talk with some of our members from Kreativ Reisen Österreich: Kunstmuseum Waldviertel (Creative Art Museum), Die kleine Werkstatt in Waldviertel, Lower Austria, TALCUS offering stone carving workshops in Styria, Lucie from Shopping with Lucie! in Vienna, Hotel Am Konzerthaus who have developed a creative Swarovski city experience package, Altenmarkt-Zauchensee and their .NATURA.in di Berg Creative Weeks during the summer, plus Künstlerdorf Neumarkt an der Raab (an artists’ village dedicated to creative exchange among guests and (inter)national artists offering workshops, too).
The feedback from our colleagues working at the ANTO holiday service office is: “People are looking for (what they call) ‘the special thing’ (about Austria). They want to know where to go in order to find hidden gems and unique experiences.” This is where creative activities such as those offered by Creative Tourism Austria stand a chance to meet this very demand by (inter)national travellers.
On a European level: Creative Tourism Network & CULTrips …
… are just some of the initiatives that come to mind when thinking of creative tourism in Austria in an international context. Parallel to the development of creative tourism in Austria, the Creative Tourism Network promotes creative cities and destinations all over Europe offering interactive tourism experiences, such as Paris, Barcelona, Rome or Austria. The city of Barcelona alone, during the 2010 Creative Tourism Network presentation, quoted 13.000 – 14.000 creative tourists a year to the city of Barcelona, generating added value of several million Euro. This figure is likely to have risen over the past year, what with public awareness of both the media and international travelers rising.
In addition, there is the CULTrips network, a European Union project dedicated to establish socio-cultural village tourism in rural areas of Europe, such as Finland, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg or Estonia.
At the end of March, there will be a “creative thinking meeting” in Luxembourg bringing together Creative Tourism Austria, the Global Greeter Network as well as CULTrips in order to discuss how (and where) these various initiatives merge.
So what lies ahead? A way forward is definitely out there, and I feel always compelled by the passion and charm of those who are already “living it”: creative pottery in Salzburg (Martha’s Waldwerkstatt), learning how to make your own beer in Carinthia (Traditional Brewery Loncium), attending a wine seminar (Weingut & Gartenhotel Pfeffel), following acooking or cheese making workshop or doing something creative with your hands (felt-making, jewelry, painting, sculpting, playing a musical instrument: the possibilities are endless).
We love to encourage more creative travel and mutual exchange of people’s traditions, passions and unique skills! Let us know if you have anything to say and would like to leave your comment here. We’ll be sure to follow up!