The new Center for Tourism Business Development leads the tourism industry towards sustainable and profitable business
In recent years, tourism as an industry has taken a huge leap forward in Satakunta region. Although tourism as an industry has been heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has forced the tourism companies to rethink and renew their business operations.
The newly established Center for Tourism Business Development at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences supports the recovery and renewal of the tourism industry in Satakunta region. It encourages tourism companies to develop their business operations for the future and activates cooperation by establishing and coordinating networks and connecting actors. Through its operations, Satakunta's tourism industry keeps pace with emergent national and international trends.
– It is important to increase the vitality and attractiveness of the region by taking care of tourism as an industry and business. As small companies are the cornerstone of the industry, developing their operations is the key to the success of the industry, emphasises Research Manager Sanna-Mari Renfors.
In Satakunta, tourism is a very potential growth sector. Tourism has a significant regional economic impact. Its share of value added in GDP in the region is more than twice of, for example, the wood industry or the electrical and electronics industry. Employment in the tourism industry is higher in Satakunta than, for example, in the food industry or the chemical industry. Therefore, tourism brings much-needed income and jobs to the region.
The starting point of Satakunta's Tourism Growth Programme 2030 is that the tourism industry in Satakunta will grow, be profitable and prosper, and its impact on employment will increase.
– The Center for Tourism Business Development supports in achieving this objective, says tourism expert Soile Vahela.
The center cooperates with various industry partners
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences has been implementing tourism research and development activities in cooperation with hundreds of entrepreneurs and partners since 2013. In recent years, SAMK has established co-operation clusters of tourism micro-entrepreneurs, in which 50 companies have so far developed their own business together.
The key themes of the center are sustainable and digital tourism. The development of tourism in rural and coastal areas, and in particular nature, food and culture as resources, play an important role in the center's activities.
Recent activities include the #GastroSatakunta food tourism campaign implemented in the summer of 2021 for regional destinations that sell local food and drink products made from local raw materials. Satakunta-based tourism companies will also train together to become responsible tourism experts during 2022, as the importance of sustainable tourism has been significantly emphasised during the COVID-19 pandemic.