Travel to Tomorrow – Growing Forward Together

Harvesting fresh ideas and insights from the journey

SUMMIT 12-13 sept

Travel to Tomorrow – Growing Forward Together

Harvesting fresh ideas and insights from the journey

SUMMIT 12-13 sept

On 12 and 13 September 2019 'Travel to Tomorrow - Growing Forward Together' will take place in Bruges. This summit brings together entrepreneurs, opinion and policy makers and policy supporters around pressing, contemporary questions and challenges in the tourism sector. A varied mix of keynotes, workshops, experience sessions and (digital) interviews provides each participant with interactive opportunities to be inspired by the transforming power of tourism and grow professionally. Flemish and international top speakers link the theoretical framework to practical examples and issues of great touristic, but also broad social relevance. A must-visit event for everyone who wants to contribute in an innovative, sustainable way to a future proof tourism!

Are you ready to make a difference in the tourism industry?


Fascinating guest speakers, international and from Flanders

From thought leaders to academics, from policy makers to supporters and entrepreneurs active in day-to-day practice. ‘Travel to Tomorrow’ brings together established names and new faces in the tourism industry at a unique event, carefully curated by author and change agent Anna Pollock (founder of and host Michel Vandendriessche (Managing Director, Pasar).

All sessions (except the workshops in Dutch) will be translated, so both international and Flemish people can participate in the summit.



Inspiring practical examples and success cases

‘Travel to Tomorrow’ offers more than a new conceptual framework for thinking about tourism. Contemporary issues, in the context of a rapidly changing context, are viewed from different angles. Organisations, companies and communities explain how they experiment in practice with various forms of a future proof tourism that make the local communities and their place flourish. For example, we will be working on the activities developed in Flanders as a result of the commemoration of WWI and we will show how a (cultural) tourism approach can have a much broader and deeper social impact than first realised.

Connecting to the broad sector

More than ever, tourism is an interdisciplinary issue embedded in the fabric and infrastructure of our society and economy. The ‘Travel to Tomorrow’ summit offers opportunities to connect and collaborate with people from different sectors. Expand your horizons and be inspired by the surprising perspectives, questions and solutions of the other participants and forge new plans for the future together.

Interactive work sessions and atypical activities

In addition to the keynote sessions, the summit offers wide range of inspiration sessions and local activities. We create unexpected contexts that will stimulate dialogue between strangers and catalyse development of fresh perspectives and insights. In a variety of workshops topics like mobility, inclusivity, entrepreneurship, events, congresses, stories and flourishing communities will be discussed.

Interviews with policy makers in Flanders

In many places people are travelling to tomorrow. The balance between visitors, residents, entrepreneurs and the value of the place they share, is important to all of us. But what does that mean in terms of policy making? Six Flemish Mayors and Aldermen for Tourism are happy to share their take on the future of tourism.

More about Tourism Transforms

The experience of travelling changes travellers, places they visit, people and local communities who 'make' and inhabit these places. Tourism is therefore more than economics. We want to investigate and give shape to that 'more' in the ‘Tourism Transforms’ programme. How can we stimulate this 'more' so that all those involved in the tourism system derive maximum benefit from it? All the activities that take place within the framework of this project are brought together under the umbrella of ‘Travel to Tomorrow’, of which the summit on 12 and 13 September 2019 in Bruges will be a key milestone on our journey.



Thursday 12 - Friday 13 September 2019.


Kapucijnenkerk, Klokstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium.

Sint-Godelieveabdij, Boeveriestraat 41, 8000 Bruges, Belgium.

Both locations can be reached easily by train. So leave the car at home and we’ll provide you with a warm welcome at the train station in Bruges.


The ticket price (incl. VAT) is 181,5 euro for the 2-day program (including the city tour and dinner on Thursday evening) or 75 euro for the inspiring citytrip with guest speakers and dinner on Thursday evening only.

Limited number of tickets, so be quick.

Click here to register for the summit.

Do you want to spend the night in Bruges? Book your hotel via this link.


We are currently working hard on creating a line-up of inspiring speakers who will provide hands-on sessions on various aspects of the transformational power of tourism. These sessions will cover a wide range of topics such as community initiatives and interactions, entrepreneurship, sustainability and tourism policies. We want the participants to reflect upon what is being said and done during the summit in a creative manner. Our goal is to offer a program filled with activities which facilitates this reflection and make it happen.

The complete line-up will soon be available on this webpage and can also be found on Facebook.

Thursday 12 September 2019

From 8h00 onwards: Welcome at the train station in Bruges.

9h15: Travel to Tomorrow – Why we are rethinking the future of tourism? (hostess Anna Pollock and host Michel Vandendriessche, together with Philip Pierins of the city of Bruges and moderator Andrea Croonenberghs).

10h00−11h15: Collaborative Advantage and Qualitative Growth: Tourism as a catalyst for regenerative regional development - Keynote by Daniel Wahl (author of Designing Regenerative Cultures).

11h15−12h30: Travel to Tomorrow - How to put things into practice?

  • Best practices and inspiring case studies in Flanders and abroad.
  • Interviews with policy makers in Flanders: Carla Pantens (Alderman for Tourism, Brasschaat), Bram Van Braeckevelt (Alderman for Tourism, Ghent), Brigitte Vanhoutte (Alderman for Tourism, Ronse), Marino Keulen (Mayor of Lanaken), Mohamed Ridouani (Mayor of Leuven) and Dirk Defauw – (Mayor of Bruges)
  • CEO Peter De Wilde on the future of tourism and the vision and role of Visit Flanders.

12h30 - 13h45: Lunch break

13h45−14h30: Let’s Build a Thrivable Tourism: why, what and how! - Michelle Holliday (author of The Age of Thrivability).

14h45−16h00: Thinking differently, doing differently - Workshops (free choice):

  • Mobility
  • Inclusivity and authentic hospitality
  • Events
  • Congresses,
  • Research, measurement and results
  • Accommodations
  • Powerful and tourist products, experiences and services
  • Entrepreneurs and investors
  • Encounters of locals and visitors
  • Flourishing communities and destinations

16h15−17h00: Imagination: The Community-based Power that drives Transformation - Rob Hopkins (author and representative of


Daniel Christian Wahl (author of Designing Regenerative Cultures)


Peter De Wilde, CEO Visit Flanders.


Michelle Holliday (author of The Age of Thrivability)


Rob Hopkins (author and representative of


Foto: Van Acker, P. (2018, 18 maart). Kapucijnenkerk, Brugge.

Thursday evening 12 September: Inspirational networking dinner and concert in Bruges with tourism industry professionals and key opinion leaders

  • 18h45−19h30: Welcome by the city of Bruges at the Belfort. Welcome and aperitif at the market square.
  • 19h30−21h30: Networking and dining at unique locations in the city centre of Bruges. In small groups, participants will enjoy a thematic dinner experience and lots of networking opportunities with colleagues in the tourist industry.
  • 21h30−22h15: Concert of singer-songwriter Wannes Cappelle at the Kapucijnenkerk.
  • 22h15-23h00: Closing drinks at the Sint-Godelieve Abbey.

You can choose to subscribe for the networking dinner in the city only, without attending the rest of the summit. Those who participe in the two-days summit are automatically enrolled in the Thursday evening sessions.

Click here to subscribe for the program of your choice.

Friday 13 September 2019

9h30−10h00: Welcome - Highlights, Q&A and learnings (Anna Pollock and Michel Vandendriessche).

10h00−11h15: The transforming power of events. Case Study: World War I in Flanders. - A balanced collaboration between locals, visitors, entrepreneurs and the place they all share.

11h45−12h30: Case study: La Biomista in Genk. - The future of tourism: an internationally renowned project with respect for the local community and entrepreneurs. A reportage with Koen Van Mechelen, explained by the mayor of Genk, Wim Dries.

13h30−15h00: Thinking differently, doing differently - Workshops (free choice):

  • Mobility
  • Accessibily and authentic hospitality
  • Events
  • Congresses
  • Research, measurement and results
  • Accommodations
  • Powerful and tourist products, experiences and services
  • Entrepreneurs and investors
  • Encounters of locals and visitors
  • Flourishing communities and destinations.

15h15−15h45: The Challenge of Rapid Transition - Can we Make the Transition to a New Economy in Time? - Andrew Simms.

15h45 - 16h15: Closing remarks

16h15 - 17h00: Closing drinks


Andrew Simms (auteur van Cancel the Apocalypse: The New Path to Prosperity, & Economics - A Crash Course)


Foto: Vanderhispallie, E. (2009, 13 september). Sint-Godelieveabdij, Brugge.