4 post-COVID-19 innovations in the tourism industry

How can you innovate the tourism product of a campsite, museum or hotel-restaurant taking into account the wishes of the tourist, the current COVID-19 circumstances and with respect for the environment? Our tourism expert Akke Folmer guided together with 8 fellow teachers 160 first-year Tourism Management students from NHL Stenden on this assignment. The students helped four Dutch tourism entrepreneurs.

Ideas for tourism entrepreneurs in corona times

The constantly changing situation we are currently in requires a great deal of adaptability from tourism organisations. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Camping de Bosrand, Watersportcamping Heeg, Hotel-Restaurant Bitter en Zoet and the Kazematten Museum asked students to help them with new ideas and innovations for the coming summer. Since students were unable to visit, the organisations presented their specific challenges in an online video. Then the students analysed the tourist’s online search using the customer journey. In doing so, they looked at how well the organisation could be found online. Based on the pros and cons they encountered, they developed tourism product innovations.

4 innovative tourism products

With an eye for feasibility, creativity, sustainability, suitability for the target group and potential to attract more tourists, the best idea was chosen per location. In an online final presentation with teachers, students and the organisations, the following winners were chosen:

Animated Soldier as a museum guide
The concept “Animated Soldier and 360 view” was developed for the Kazenmatten Museum. This soldier can attract more young people because he is a peer. He tells the story of the Casemates from his perspective and how he experienced World War II. The idea also appealed, because it can be realised at a low cost and in the short term.

Treasure hunt
A children’s activity day was developed for Watersportcamping Heeg, including a barefoot path, treasure hunting, sailing, playing in the water and a campfire. The owner indicated that she will also pick up various ideas from other groups.

Cycling to a play park
To attract Flemish people to Camping de Bosrand in Oudemirdum, students came up with a Dutch bicycle tour with a stop at Sybrandy’s children’s play park. This appealed to the entrepreneurs, because it allows them to reach a new target group.

Cooking workshop for children
A cooking workshop for children was developed for Hotel-Restaurant Bitter en Zoet. Children first harvest their own food in the vegetable garden of the Hotel Restaurant, after which they start working with the ingredients. Local food, sustainable, and educational! The entrepreneurs appealed to this idea, because it makes good use of all kinds of facets of their company and it contains an educational element.`

The projects were realised through the Tourism Collective Fryslân, an initiative of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and the tourism industry. Do you also want an innovative view at your tourism product by collaborating with students from NHL Stenden University? Register your project with our tourism expert Akke Folmer.

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