Welcome to the story of a future in travel and hospitality that is being re-authored as we speak. This story is currently unfolding in the governmental office of Visit Flanders and its Holiday Participation Centre.
We want to continue to strengthen our appeal to tourists. Yet, if we are to remain successful in the future, we need to take into account many changes and uncertainties. Our starting point for formulating our vision for the future is our belief in the positive power of tourism. We need to strengthen this power to bring balance so destinations in Flanders can flourish.
For a year we, together with various partners, have thought about the transformative power of tourism for the visitor, occupant and destination. We have bundled the result of this co-creative thinking process into the magazine ‘Journey to tomorrow’.
Dutch professor Jan Rotmans is an expert on the subject of transition management and sustainability who is much sought-after, both at home and abroad. As a ‘progressor’, he also endeavours to translate theoretical transitional science into concrete actions and advice for entrepreneurs, governments and organisations.
The tourism of tomorrow will be rooted in local communities. In neighbourhoods, villages and cities that thrive and, as a result, enjoy welcoming enthusiastic visitors. A flourishing community is very much connected to its specific place; where people work together, where visitors can feel at home and residents can nurture and share their love for the place.
Meet Judith Rooze, a passionate Belgian wheel builder for sports bikes, located in East London. If you want to know what a passionate community with strong ties to Flanders’ assets looks like, check out this interview in GRAN FONDO, ‘The most exciting cycling magazine’.
She made a remarkable ‘sojourn’ in Bruges, where VISITFLANDERS hosted a summit about the future of Tourism, named ‘Travel to Tomorrow, growing forward together.’ In her keynote talk, Michelle Holliday, author of the book ‘The Age of Thrivability’, gently invited the tourism sector to become aware of its influence to help create a world where all life can thrive.
An intensive one month visit to the Low Countries: two weeks in the Netherlands, two weeks in Belgium, Flanders and Brussels. That’s what 26 American students from Berkeley University in San Francisco and their Flemish professor Jeroen Dewulf have just completed. They concluded their trip at VISITFLANDERS where they exchanged ideas on Travel to Tomorrow.