Slow is derived from the ancient adage “haste slowly” and is associated with the pursuit of quality of life, hospitality and the well-being of residents and visitors, respect for natural and cultural heritage, protection of biodiversity, short supply chains, innovation on behalf of sustainability, appreciating a sense of place, social equality and inclusiveness, contemplation…
But how to realise all of these ambitions in tourism?

The Heritage & Slow TourismLAB is not-for-profit initiative. The LAB brings together researchers, business owners, professionals and policymakers to explore the varying meanings and practices of Slow and Slowness.

This virtual LAB is a spin-off of the Heritage, Tourism and Hospitality, International Conference (HTHIC) which asks the question “How can tourism destinations succeed in attracting visitors while simultaneously engaging all stakeholders in the preservation of natural and cultural heritage?”

HTHIC Heritage & Slow TourismLAB - Image of canoe

Questions the Heritage & Slow TourismLAB will address include:

  • What exactly is Slow Tourism and slowness? A mindset, lifestyle, behaviour? A specific way of discovering and (re)discovering ourselves along the way? A marketing concept, a specific product or a method for tourism development?
  • What can we learn from existing Slow movements, destinations, organisations and projects in terms of quality criteria, critical success factors, best practices and actual results?
  • Who are the consumers of Slow Tourism products and services and what are their motives and wishes?
  • What is the role of Slow Food, Slow Retail, Slow Adventure, Slow Travel and Cittaslow when it comes to Slow Tourism?
  • How can the insights gathered be translated into useful manuals for tourism destinations, entrepreneurs and organisations in the field of natural and cultural heritage conservation?

New and COVID-19 related:

  • How can the theory and practice of Slow Tourism help deal with the limitations imposed on society by the COVID-19 virus, with uncertainty and possibly changing visitor preferences?
  • How is Slow Tourism changing as a result of COVID-19? For example, Slow Travel has often been associated with modes of public transport, which now require caution.
HTHIC Heritage & Slow TourismLAB by Elgin & Co. Image of mother riding a bicycle
Signage to Dutch Cittaslows in Midden-Delfland

LAB meetings take place live via Zoom.

LAB meetings
last one and a half hours and consist of two-three presentations and time for discussion. In general, the conversation in the LAB will be English, but simultaneous translation may be provided at times.

LAB meetings 
are open to presenters who are actively engaged in:

  • research related to Slow and wish to present – in a practitioner-friendly way – their research results or think their ongoing research project would benefit from feedback;
  • applying the Slow philosophy in their region, city, company or organisation and look forward to sharing their knowledge and experience.

LAB meetings 
are open to all who wish to:

  • explore concept, challenges and opportunities of Slow Tourism, including Slow Travel, Slow Food Travel, Slow Adventure, Slow Retail, Cittaslow and other Slow destinations;
  • learn more about how to preserve natural and cultural heritage thanks to and despite tourism.

LAB meetings 
aim to foster the exchange of knowledge and experience. You are kindly asked to RSVP for each meeting. Your name and organisation (not your email address) will be shared with other attendees. Background information – reading materials and/or video – will be made available in advance of the meeting. A summary of the discussion will be shared with those who attended indeed. 

Heritage & Slow TourismLAB - Image of water lilies

Join our community. If you share your contact details you will be added to a mailing list and receive details about upcoming meetings in our virtual LAB.  subscribe now >