INTRODUCTION TO THE SANTA FE & UNESCO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE A GLOBAL CONVERSATION ON BEST
PRACTICES AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Rebecca Wurzburger, PhD
Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Santa Fe, New Mexico
What is Creative Tourism? Why should creative cities worldwide, and specifi cally those in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, collaborate about Creative Tourism? How can Creative Tourism be best organized to enhance economic benefits to cities and provinces and countries globally?
These questions were among those discussed in September 2008 during the first International Creative Tourism Conference, sponsored by the city of Santa Fe and other members of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, including Aswan, Egypt; Bologna, Italy; Berlin, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montreal, Canada; Popayan, Colombia; and Seville, Spain. At this conference delegates from 16 countries around the world convened to discuss emerging issues and best practices in the use of Creative Tourism as a powerful economic development tool for cities, provinces, states, and countries. Countries represented included Nigeria, the Bahamas, Spain, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, England, Mexico, Canada, Pakistan, Russia, Scotland, Australia, France, Egypt, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Conference participants interacted with some 16 Introduction of the world’s renowned leaders in creativity, geo-tourism and cultural entrepreneurship.
Through panel discussions led by UNESCO Creative Cities leaders, delegates had the opportunity to learn about best practices in a diverse range of creative industries represented by the UNESCO network, including culinary arts, folk art, music, and design. One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of more than 50 Santa Fe creative experiences that showcased Santa Fe’s unique historical, cultural, and creative industries. Also unique was the Open Space session that allowed participants to build a networking agenda around Creative Tourism interests and activities in their home cities.
This book was developed to further promote the provocative and informative global conversations that transpired at our Santa Fe conference. Intended audiences are not only conference participants but also creative individuals worldwide who are actively engaged in promoting creativity and Creative Tourism as both economic and cultural development.
The format of our book basically follows the conference design, showcasing articles from keynote and panel presentations from the “tracks,” which were “UNESCO Creative Cities: The Road Ahead”; “Creative Entrepreneurs: How To”; “Creative Tourism and Economic Development” and “Creative Tourism Experiences in Santa Fe”.
This introduction highlights key questions, definitional concerns, and the history of Creative Tourism, short though it may be. Th e rationale for why we consider Creative Tourism as an important emerging issue globally is introduced, and preliminary ideas for Santa Fe’s next steps in Creative Tourism are identified.