5th Melilla Forum: Culture and creativity for sustainable tourism

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5th Melilla Forum: Culture and creativity for sustainable tourism

The 5th Creative Cities and Territories in Spain Forum, unfolding from 26 to 28 October at the Kursaal Theatre in the city of Melilla, attracted more than 400 visitors
The 5th Creative Cities and Territories in Spain Forum, unfolding from 26 to 28 October at the Kursaal Theatre in the city of Melilla, attracted more than 400 visitors

The 5th Creative Cities and Territories in Spain Forum, unfolding from 26 to 28 October at the Kursaal Theatre in the city of Melilla, attracted more than 400 visitors. At the event, they discussed the concept of sustainable tourism based on culture and creativity.

Under the slogan, ‘Melilla, the Gateway to the Mediterranean’, the Forum drew representatives from cities and regions in Spain and 18 European, African and Asian countries. They addressed issues like smart cities, the environment, connectivity, cultural diplomacy and Spain’s sponsorship-cultural plan 2020, among others.

The High Commissioner for Marca España, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, who talked about the importance of cities for Marca España and participated in the panel titled ‘Public diplomacy in cities: culture as a strategy for development’, highlighted Spanish creativity and its potential for building international renown. ‘We are a country with creative people. Events like this one are ideal to learn from others and share experiences,’ said Mr Espinosa de los Monteros.

For her part, the President of España Creativa and Director of the Forum, Belén Elisa Díaz, delivered an opening speech in which she pointed at the need to encourage collaboration between cities and foster the culture of proximity to build a distinctive ‘territory brand’.

‘Without culture, a city is like a dormitory town and a country becomes a dead land,’ said Néstor Longo, Technical Director at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Mr Longo talked about the support the Ministry offers to initiatives that promote cities through culture.

Talks and hands-on activities

Speakers at the forum were architect Juan Herreros, painter Antonio López and artist Fernando Arrabal, among others, who addressed the concept of sustainable cities in their human and artistic sides.

Also, there were hands-on experiences in the creative industries: gastronomy, music, painting, dance and fashion. In addition, there was a performing arts and sustainable fashion show by designers Modesto Lomba – who was granted the España Creativa honorary award –, Ion Fiz and María Lafuente, as well as a master class by renowned chef Dani García, who delivered a talk on creative Mediterranean cuisine.

Creative Spain Cup 2017: New life to old neighbourhoods

The project ‘Old neighbourhoods, a lot to discover’, made of 34 Catalan towns, was the winner of the Creative Spain Cup 2017. The jury praised the cooperation between agencies, the innovation and self-funding of the project, which was granted the first prize of the 5th Creative Spain Cup.

Special prizes were given to the Community of La Rioja for ‘Art on the Land-La Rioja’, a project to promote the arts in the fields; to ‘ALiX-Tenerife’, an initiative of the Assembly of Tenerife aimed at improving IT; to Haceria Arteak for ‘Zawp Bilbao’, a project whose purpose is to rehabilitate dilapidated neighbourhoods; to ‘Orihuela, a Creative Literary City’; and to the towns of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), for ‘The Fourth Quixote’, and Vitoria-Gasteiz, for ‘Creation as a Driver of Sustainable Tourism: Vitoria-Gasteiz’.

The Creative Cities and Territories in Spain Forum was organised by the Autonomous City of Melilla, the España Creativa Association and the Master’s Programme in Creative Economics at the Rey Juan Carlos University. The Forum gets support from the World Tourism Organisation, Marca España, SEGITTUR, the Spanish National Committee supported by UNESCO, the Responsible Tourism Institute and the Spanish Fashion Designers’ Association (ACME), among other organisations.