Snow and ice are important assets for the tourism industry in the north of Sweden. Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, the Snowball Hotel in Jokkmokk, Icemusic in Lulea, tours on the frozen Gulf of Bothnia or the northern lights in Abisko are some examples of how the snow, ice and cold can be turned into successful companies that attract lots of visitors.
- Snow and ice is one of the strengths that we pay attention to in the project in order to create knowledge and methods of innovation development of places that attract existing and potential residents, visitors, business owners and investors, says Associate Professor Malin Lindberg, head of the project Place Innovation in Swedish Lapland.
Jokkmokk Event & Hostel AB, one of the companies involved in the project, has developed a new concept , the Snowball Hotel, which was awarded with the price “the experience of the year”. The Snowball Hotel is one of several events that are connected to the hostel. The launching of the Snowball Hotel contributed to a ten per cent increase in the number of guest nights.
- The Snowball Hotel is a new unique type of living in a building of snow and ice and is designed in a familiar shape. Everyone knows what a snowball's. It felt nice to broaden snow sculpture-concept and to use it as an opportunity to stay overnight, says Cecilia Lundin, who runs Jokkmokk Event & Hostel AB.
The concept of place innovation is about linking together stakeholders from different sectors such as enterprises, municipalities, non-profit organizations and others, to develop innovative solutions based on a place, city or region's unique circumstances. It holds the site's physical design together and helps creating content and marketing that will provide benefits both to companies and the surrounding community.
- In the project Place Innovation in Swedish Lapland, the participating actors jointly developed a model, a map, over the pieces needed to create attractive destinations and communities, says Malin Lindberg.
The project involves, in addition to innovative researchers at Luleå University, a number of the destination and tourism companies in the north, architects, designers, municipalities, Stiftelsen Swedish Industrial Design and Piteå Science Park. The project is funded by the tourist industry's research and development fund for 2015-2017.