Travel to tomorrow
Tourism can change the world for the better, according to Peter De Wilde. If we complete our story, and focus more on the context and social setting in which tourism takes place and look more closely at the interactions between travellers, place and inhabitants. The structures and processes that are needed to ensure those interactions generate net benefit for all parties have not yet been defined. And that is pretty exciting. Local governments, enterprises and residents hold the keys to harnessing the positive power of tourism in their places and then applying it so that the visitor has opportunities to be moved, enriched, enlivened and enchanted by the unique spirit of a place. It is with this hope that VISITFLANDERS started its journey to tomorrow. A voyage of discovery, chock full of stories and encounters. A journey that included numerous provocative and inspirational moments.
The first stage
Tourism Transforms began in April 2017 when members of the VISITFLANDERS team got together to discover the power of travelling. They told one another travel stories and discovered the transformational power of travelling in their personal lives.
The travelling community grows
On 3 October 2017, around 130 professionals from the Flanders tourism sector listened to one another's travel stories. They told one another about travel moments that had impacted upon their lives. Anna Pollock, founder of Conscious Travel, stimulated their creative thinking and introduced the concept of a ’flourishing‘ destination.
Asking questions along the way
At the same time, Visit Flanders embarked on a mammoth listening exercise to better understand how travellers from home and abroad experienced travel personally.
Understanding what we experience
Between January and June 2018, tourism professionals came together for five think-tanks. Stimulated by a variety of tourism experts, the participants examined the power of travelling and the flourishing destination. They reflected upon the leadership and actions that could help transform tourism in Flanders.
Daring to experiment
After storytelling and reflection, there comes action. The 'Kreken' area started working on practical aspects and, in March 2018, held a workshop called ‘Working on the future’.
Integrating travel experiences and coming home
On 10 and 11 September 2018, VISITFLANDERS and its partners co-created a vision for tourism in our region. Their work was the stimulus for this magazine and provided input for it.
Now the magazine has found you. We offer refreshing insights and inspiration. We invite you to travel with us to tomorrow.