Coolhunters observing trends and developments in the tourism & leisure industry

Strategic foresight and scenario planning run like a red line through the curriculum of Leisure Management and Tourism Management. It all begins with learning to observe trends, developments and possibly early warnings of new developments. So, in the first year of their study, Leisure Management students from NHL Stenden have been challenged by the European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) to look for such trends, developments and early warning signals by means of so-called coolhunting, a term coined by Carl Rohde.

Three indicators were used to label a feature as 'cool':

More specifically, small groups of Dutch and international students had to look for features in a city of their choice that they find:

  • Attractive, exciting, surprising, innovative;
  • Inspiring to customers, other businesses;
  • Future proof: profitable, growth perspective, resistant to changes in society or consumer behaviour changes

Coolhunting magazines

Afterwards, the student-groups have presented their findings in the form of a magazine that they designed themselves. There were two best magazines selected: