Digital solutions to increase the attractiveness of tourist sites2020-06-29
Nowadays, actors in the hospitality industry can be found online, which changes the conditions for how the industry communicates with visitors, the way marketing, travel planning and bookings take place, as well as the visitors’ experience on site. What new opportunities can new digital solutions offer the hospitality industry? The project “Platsbaserade digitala upplevelser” (Site-based digital experiences) aims to contribute with new knowledge, new ideas and increased collaboration through a development and innovation process. The project will be reaching the finish line in the autumn.
Together with companies from the hospitality industry and the IT sector, the goal is to contribute to greater innovation ability and competitiveness for the tourism companies at a national and international level – among other things.
“This past year has been characterised by our collaboration with the company Sticky Beat, where we have worked with development and innovation processes. Work has centred around three selected sites: Kristinehamn’s archipelago, Glaskogen and Sunne with focus on storytelling”, says Lotta Braunerhielm, researcher in human geography and project manager.
In the processes, researchers have included in-depth studies, which also include the digital perspective. Examples of research questions: What image is conveyed? What is included and what is excluded? The perspectives have included contemporary history, gender and power, nature and culture, age and category of people. The analyses have shown to provide new perspectives for the various actors.
One of the goals of the project is to promote collaboration between different actors from the private and public sector, as well as academia. The work procedure developed in the project is based on both the different actors and the location.
”Actors from the public sector focus on the question ‘why’, that is, what is the purpose of the hospitality industry and why are these sites interesting? The entrepreneurs, the business sector, deepen the discussion about each site by focusing on ‘what’, that is, the actual content of the tourist destination. Visitors, the end users so to speak, capture the question of ‘how’ - in what way do you want the sites to be portrayed. Here we have worked with different target groups, younger and older, who are unaccustomed or accustomed to using digital solutions, and who has knowledge or no knowledge of the tourist destinations in Värmland”, says Lotta Braunerhielm.
Concept ideas and method development
Resultatet från projektet kommer att presenteras i höst, men redan nu växer olika konceptskisser fram. The results of the project will be presented in the autumn, but various concept ideas are already developing.
“There will be a concept idea for each site, where the solution to enhance the experience is a digital complement to the physical visit. These are ideas that can be further developed into a solution for creating site-based digital experiences”, says Lotta Braunerhielm.
The hospitality industry is one of many industries that have suffered a big blow in the current corona pandemic.
“We are in contact with Visit Värmland and Innovation Park, among others, to track development needs due to the situation of the industry. Perhaps the knowledge we have accumulated in both this and previous projects can be included in a knowledge and support package? These are ideas that we are working on at the moment,” says Lotta Braunerhielm.
The project is based on two previous research studies on the hospitality industry, tourism and digitalisation. The overall result will include method development, knowledge building about the possibilities and challenges of digitisation, but also product development for the hospitality industry. The result will be presented both at the project’s final conference this autumn and in a popular scientific report.