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Place-innovation as an engine for northern Sweden's tourism industry

Published: 7 May 2018

Tourism industry in northern Sweden has expanded in recent years, mainly thanks to the innovative destinations created around the region's snow, ice and cold as well as extensive nature. Malin Lindberg, professor at Luleå University of Technology, and Helena Renström, Marketing Manager at Skellefteå Municipality, lectured on the development.

– We see that the innovative visitor destinations created in Norrbotten and Västerbotten, for example Tree Hotel in Harads, Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi and Winterswim in Skellefteå, both create a value for the people through pride and jobs and for visitors through new, unique experiences, says Malin Lindberg, professor at Luleå University of Technology.

Representatives from both the business community and Skellefteå municipality visited the Great Northern in Skellefteå on Friday 4th of May to listen to the lecture. Helena Renström, Marketing Manager at Skellefteå Municipality, gave examples of how their branding efforts have helped to develop Skellefteå into an even more attractive place for inhabitants, visitors and business. The key according to her is dialogue.

– Our journey changing our brand began in the dialogue with industry and inhabitants. We built the identity from what people actually think. It's crucial to have a dialogue about the importance to be proud about Skellefteå, she says.

Helena Renström called upon the audience to find new cross-border co-operation because that is where innovations take place.

– Everyone understands that the brand is not the solution to everything, but it's an important piece of puzzle.

Malin Lindberg hopes that the lecture will lead to increased insight into innovative solutions.

– The creation of new tourist destinations and tourism initiatives can sometimes be done at the expense of the inhabitants perceived quality of life. Attractive places are therefore depending on combining different components in a new way, so that it creates new values ​​for both inhabitants and visitors.

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