International Congress on World Civilizations and Creative Tourism

  • From 29/11/2016 00:00 to 01/12/2016 00:00
Venue Sofia, Bulgaria - Sofia, Bulgaria

International Congress on World Civilizations and Creative Tourism
Sofia, Bulgaria, (29 November – 1 December 2016)

Tourism has grown at an accelerated pace over the last decades to become one of the leading global socioeconomic
sectors. In 2012, for the first time, over one billion international tourists travelled the world and UNWTO
forecasts continued growth in the years to come. Cultural tourism plays a leading role in creating new socioeconomic
opportunities for tourism development at local, regional and national level, while presenting important
As a follow up to Siem Reap Declaration, adopted at UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and
Culture in 2015 in Cambodia, it is crucial to develop, coordinate and implement tourism and other public policies
and practices in an integrated manner. The International Congress on World Civilizations and Creative Tourism
will address how we can bring to life world civilizations through creative tourism. The Congress will be an
excellent platform and unique opportunity for public and private tourism stakeholders to present and share views,
experiences and good practices in developing strategies that encourage and facilitate new and innovative forms
of cultural tourism. The aim of the Congress is to discuss how creative tourism can play a significant role in
safeguarding and promoting tangible and intangible heritage, as well as in generating socio-economic benefits for
all stakeholders.
Jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria and the World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO), the Congress will bring together Ministers of Tourism and other public and private tourism
stakeholders as well as internationally recognized professionals within creative industries, experts, and scientists
linked to the tourism industry, including related to world civilizations.

Preliminary Programme

Tuesday, 29 November 2016
09:00 – 09:45 Registration (Welcome Coffee)
09:45 – 10:30 Opening Ceremony
 Mr. Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria
 Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO
 Ms. Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism, Bulgaria
10:30 – 12:30 High Level Meeting
The High Level Meeting will address how world civilizations can be brought back to life
through sustainable creative tourism and how effective partnership models can be
developed to contribute to safeguarding and promoting world civilizations, while
creating socio-economic benefits for local communities.
Moderator: (TBC)
Press Conference
13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
15:00 – 17:00 Session 1: Bringing to life world civilizations through creative tourism
Tourism is about experiencing the world and its living cultures. Thanks to creative
tourism a distinctive and unique visitor experience can be created, bringing world
civilizations back to life. In this session, speakers will share insights on how to create
an iconic experience and lead tourism development through creativity and innovation.
Mr. Greg Richards, Professor of Leisure Studies, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Creative regeneration of the ancient Egyptian civilization heritage
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities Egypt (TBC)
The Case of Petra Jordan
HRH Princess Dana Firas, President, Petra National Trust (TBC)
19:00 – 22:00 Welcome dinner

Wednesday, 30 November 2016
08:45 – 09:30 Welcome Coffee
09:30 - 11:30 Session 2: Developing a sustainable tourism strategy for world civilization
If managed in a sustainable manner, tourism can be a key element in preserving built
and living heritage, respecting socio-cultural authenticity and ensuring socio-economic
benefits for all stakeholders. Furthermore, it can contribute to improving the
understanding of world civilizations. In this session, speakers will discuss sustainable
management and strategies in world civilizations heritages.
Mr. Walter Jamieson, Professor and Director, Service Innovation Program, College of
Innovation, Thammasat University, Thailand (TBC)
The Case of Angkor Wat
Mr. Sok Sangvar, Head of Angkor Tourism Management Plan (TBC)
The origin of humanity
Dr. Zeray Alemseged, Paleoanthropologist, Ethiopia (TBC)
Thracian Political and Religious Centers as a Sustainable Touristic Resource in
Dr. Diana Gergova, Institute for Balkan Studies with Centre of Thracology, Bulgarian
Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria (TBC)
11:30 – 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 – 14:00 Session 3: Building partnerships between tourism and creative industries in the
safeguard and promotion of world civilizations: Benefits and challenges
Promoting closer linkages between cultural tourism and creative industries can
represent an opportunity for fostering the appreciation and preservation of world
civilizations. Developing mutually beneficial partnership models, will require engaging
public and private stakeholders at all levels to address responsibilities and overcome
challenges. In this session speakers will share their experiences in cooperating with
different sectors such as technology, science, etc, in order to preserve, promote and
better understand world civilizations.
Mr. Donald E. Hawkins, Tourism studies professor at the George Washington
University, USA (TBC)
Digitally preserving world civilizations heritage
Mr. Ben Kacyra, Digital preservationist, CYARK, United States of America (TBC)
Cooperation between cultural tourism and creative industries
Ms. Caroline Couret, Co-creator, the Creative Tourism Network, Spain (TBC)
Representative of The Hermitage Museum and ancient civilizations (TBC)
Nature and the Thracian Extraurban Religious topoi of Faith as a Creative Touristic
Dr. Valeria Fol, Institute for Balkan Studies with Centre of Thracology, Bulgarian
Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria (TBC)
14:00 – 16:00 Lunch
16:00 – 17:00 Closing Session and Conclusions
19:00 – 21:00 Farewell Dinner

Thursday, 1 December 2016
Technical visits