New Ideas for the Tourism Industry
The conference is organised by the master students of the Master Programme in Service Management. When we checked in the theme was Sofiero. Jessica Jovanovska, who is the visit and booking manager there, talked about their hopes to multiply the number of visitors - from the current 160,000 a year to perhaps 750,000 in ten years. It could result in hundreds of new jobs and millions in revenue.
This is not so easy to realize, however, for example when parking already is a problem. The infrastructure must improve in terms of access roads and signage, and perhaps a new hotel is needed? At the same time, the operations must be environmentally sustainable in terms of preserving the unique location and especially the rhododendron groves, which have been here for 110 years. Should Sofiero also be recognized as a World Heritage Site? This question was raised in the audience and there may be reason to come back to this query.
Anna Grechina and Uliana Kovalskaya talked about their studies on how visitors perceive the Fredriksdal outdoor museum. As for Sofiero, Fredriksdal also has to try to attract more visitors, but it should not turn into Disneyland ... Among the two students' proposals was to organize more activities and to showcase various handicrafts or to let visitors participate in the harvest. Or why not have a contest on finding santa for Christmas?
Ditri Ahmetaj and Naser Mirani have studied tourist offices, focusing on Klippan, and explained what the tourist office has to offer in terms of service and information. Söderåsen National Park and St Petri Church is the major tourist destinations in the municipality. One question is what will happen to the tourist offices ahead. The tourist office in Klippan was closed in 2014 but reopened the following year. In contrast, Helsingborg is investing in mobile solutions. But there is still about 300 different tourist offices, or Tourist Information centers, in Sweden.
Finally, there was praise for the students and their professionally conducted event. Now their studies, focusing on Tourism Management, moves into the next phase. The next few months are spent with essay writing, before their graduation this spring.
Text: Lars Ljunggren