Young spirituality seekers are identified as newest niche tourism group

The potential of spiritual tourism for young travellers was the subject of discussion in a workshop that concluded a project funded under the COSME programme for sustainable tourism solutions. The SPIRIT YOUTH workshop “Marketing and commercialisation of Spiritual Tourism for young consumers”  took place in Barcelona on Thursday 2 December and was organised by the partners of the consortium of the project Spirit Youth, lead by NECSTouR – Network of European Regions for a Competitive and Sustainable Tourism – with the support of the Catalonia Tourism Board.

This workshop aimed at debating the marketing and commercialisation of the Spirit Youth products – spiritual activities for young tourists – being tested in view of its market competitiveness after the project funding period.

As member of the panel discussion and representing IGCAT, Jordi Vegas was participated in the Spirit Youth workshop, providing an insight from another COSME project, the European Sweet Itineraries that is also exploring sustainable and niche youth tourism offers. Jordi Vegas highlighted that young travellers are becoming more demanding and are seeking participatory experiences in order to connect with the destination. This requires the design of new products such as spiritual or gastronomy tourism.  In order to engage youth, innovation is also necessary and merging different offers is a possible route to building original experiences.  IGCAT develops strategies and training to support convergence across sectors to support regional development.

The workshop targeted the European Tourism industry, public bodies and broader stakeholders, as well as the NECSTouR Regions, academics and associations. Catalonia is one of the three territories where Spirit Youth is being tested, together with Prato (Tuscany) and South Limburg, and holds the NECSTouR Presidency.

IGCAT has been developing research on transnational creative experiences as part of an another EU funded COSME project on cross-sectoral innovation for sustainable tourism, the  European Sweet Itineraries which  also involves partners from Comunidad de Madrid (ES), Umbria (IT), Abruzzo (IT), Lisbon region (PT), Oeste Region (PT) and Alentejo (PT) and has been developed under the concept off the long-term aim is to increasing tourism flows in low/medium seasons for youth and professionals in Europe with an emphasis on gastronomy and culture.


IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism)  it is an international network of experts that aim to guide, facilitate and support leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.

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