The city of Rijeka, European Capital of Culture 2020, was the starting point for TraCEs Co-Creation TLabs. On the 24th of January, the Faculty of Economics and Business University of Rijeka called a very eclectic group of participants from tourist operators and tour guides, digital agencies, national parks and cities representatives, representatives of Croatian Commerce and Croatian Tourist Board to excellent students of the Faculty, to cooperate on this unique event focused on creating new transformative travel ideas and new synergies between tourism and creative sectors.
The special moment the city is living nowadays, increased the importance and possible effect of the TLab on the local network. Ana Marija Sikirić, vice Dean for Cooperation with Business Sector and Career Development and member of management of Faculty of Economics and Business University of Rijeka, explained it: “Rijeka is the first European Capital of Culture in Croatia. It is an historical costal city, known as a port of diversity and under this slogan it was awarded to become European Capital of Culture by the European Union. Unlike other Croatian coastal idylls, Rijeka is often bypassed by tourists headed for Opatija or other typically picturesque towns on the Adriatic Sea. This is the first time that City of Rijeka is in a focus. So, the city is preparing itself to welcome numerous guests with a great program that not only concentrates on the city, but also involves a lot of neighbourhoods in the region. Rijeka is a unique city and an ideal place for Transformative Travel Experience. In other words, Rijeka is transformative by itself and Transformative Tourism is a right way to develop the touristic potential of the city. So, hosting this workshop is of great value not only for the city but for the locals too”.
Following the guidelines of the trainer and travel product development expert, Simona Polli, all participants brainstormed inspiring ideas willing to make the city touristic offer recognizable. Thanks to their different background, interesting ideas came up, as Ana Marija Sikirić, described: “Participants coming from different background had different ideas and perspectives. One of the ideas was to experience night fishing under the clear sky, drinking local wine and learn about fishing tradition and the importance of sustainable fishing. Another idea challenges visitors to experience street art by becoming a street artist for a day”.
The next step will be to work together with these local agents to come to life one of these valuable ideas.