On November 24, during the course of the Eindhoven Summit on Innovation in Cities organized by Living Labs Global and the City of Eindhoven, Cluster facilitated a visioning workshop entitled ‘Sustainable Tourism’. The visioning workshop program is part of Living Labs Global’s matchmaking activities, the purpose of which is not to produce a feasible solution on the spot, but rather to engage all parties involved in city-making in an intense brain-storming session on strategies to foster innovation in cities.
Visioning Workshops Eindhoven Summit on Service Innovation in Cities Living Labs Global
There were eight workshops in total, which covered the topics including health, transport, mobility, logistics, public services and tourism. Each workshop was attended by 10 – 13 participants, including city representatives, researchers, social entrepreneurs and service-oriented businesses.
Cluster chose the topic of Sustainable Tourism because of its relevance to the city of Turin. Turin’s transformation began in 2000, with the implementation of its first strategic plan, and has continued. The positive impact of these cultural and urbanistic changes has led to a growth spurt for the tourist industry over the last decade which needs to be addressed from a sustainability viewpoint.
The participants in the Sustainable Tourism workshop were: Federico De Giuli and Marcia Caines of Cluster, Ton Kooymans, director of Calllock Mobility; Thea Weijers, project manager for Carefree Living, Municipality of Hertogenbosch; Raymond Voogt, owner of Voogt Service Innovation; Irene Fritzen of Cetiex, representing the City of Caceres and Quirine Kroezen of Brainport Development.
Sustainable Tourism: the brief
Visioning Workshop 8 Sustainble Tourism. Photo courtesy Living Labs Global | Flickr album Living Labs Global
‘Sustainable Tourism’ is a very broad term which ranges from architecture to mobility, development to hospitality, and infrastructure to inclusive design. For the benefit of the two hour workshop in Eindhoven we decided to focus on connectivity and integration.
The aim of the Sustainable Tourism workshop was to spark discussion on the role of service innovation in connecting local communities and foreign visitors while lessening the impact on the natural environment and boosting the economy at the same time. We also set out to consider how to bridge the gap between citizen services and tourist services by integrating hospitality services e.g. hotels, restuarants and local/regional commercial activities, into existing city infrastructures such as transport systems, museums, conference centres and information networks.
Our group visioned solutions that deploy the sharing power of new technologies to create services designed to:
✪ facilitate face-to-face interactions between locals and tourists
✪ help people make conscious and responsible decisions
✪ celebrate local culture, heritage and traditions
✪ promote future health and wellbeing in cities and regions
✪ improve the local economy and create job opportunities
✪ overcome cultural barriers
✪ command respect for the natural environment
What is sustainability? What is tourism?
Ton Kooymans started off the session by addressing two simple ice-breaking questions: What is sustainability? What is tourism? The responses that emerged ranged from enogastronomy to pilgrimage tourism, and from community building to recycling for sustainability, and we then looked at ways to work these into innovative ideas for long-term, affordable and adaptive solutions for sustainable tourism in cities.
Connecting and integrating end-users, cities, locals and the natural environment
Ton Kooymans sketch of The Tourist Platform. Visioning Workshop 8:Sustainble Tourism. Photo courtesy Brainport Development
In our roundtable discussion we agreed that hospitality services in cities are often too self-contained and not an integral part of city or local life. Tourism services need to be more inclusive to benefit local communities and stimulate the local economy, for example by creating partnerships between city governments, hotels and local operators.
Raymond Voogt of Voogt Service Innovation pointed out that the tourism sector is highly suited to employing and training low-skilled workers on a city and regional level. He suggested that inclusive tourism services could combine promoting local heritage with tackling unemployment, thereby enhancing the skills of the local workforce and improving the socioeconomic situation of entire areas.
We shared ideas about how the end-user of new service solutions should be put at the front of the process, to ensure that new tourism services and policies are designed with a user-centered approach. Superior solutions have to meet everyone’s needs by offering choice, considering people’s diversity and providing flexibility.
Sustainable tourism must address climate change to reduce carbon emissions in cities and needs to apply high standards to provide solutions that are actionable within environmental limitations across all parties (hotels, tour operators, city governments, local communities, visitors, industry etc)
The Local Tourism Platform
Ton Kooymans sketch of points system. Visioning Workshop 8:Sustainble Tourism. Photo courtesy Brainport Development
The result of our group effort was a service tourism platform, a sort of local brand for tourism supplies and a gateway to the local people and culture. The main aim of the platform is to achieve the economic, environmental and social balance required to implement a manageable, clean and prosperous vision of tourism that promotes enjoyment for all.
Our local platform seeks to:
✪ Fulfill needs by offering choice and accommodating all users.
✪ Invest in the local marketplace
✪ Hire local staff and create job opportunities
✪ Offer high quality services at different price levels and ensure safety
✪ Create local supply chains and partnerships.
✪ Introduce an innovative incentive system to mitigate the effects of climate change
✪ Connect locals and tourists
✪ Improve the overall image and well-being of the city
✪ Use gamification for desired behaviours
Gamification and incentive systems for behaviour change
The local tourism service platform must play a key role in reducing carbon emissions in the city, and this requires action on a large-scale that has to involve citizens and visitors alike. We envisioned a system that elicits participation and social interaction through game playing and points systems.
For example, visitors who use public transport will gain points. These points could be used either for a discount in local restaurants, bars or shops or alternatively to reduce tourist tax, or for discounts on museum admission etc.
Visitors who require car hire or luxury services which have a higher environmental impact will pay more and not collect points. The same game-inspired system can be applied to various issues such as water use, waste reduction and energy saving.
To conclude, our platform aspires to provide visitors and citizens with superior service solutions for sustainable tourism, while also acting as a tool to connect people and enable them to act virtuously to benefit each other and the natural environment, to make cities healthier places to visit and live in.