Destination development – Nature Trend Days

Destination development group 3. Photo: Elisabeth K. Brodal

Written by: Kristina Bore, Christina Berstad, Maria Barcons, Espen Stensrud, Elisabeth K. Brodal, Destination development group 3, autumn 2019, University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø.

Nature Trend Days

Our concept to the CUPIDO project is to make a program that represents Ulefoss in a summer festival called Telemarksveka. The festival is a one week festival in cooperation with TV2, with small and bigger events all around in Telemark. As we did some research, we noticed that Ulefoss is not really represented in this festival. Nome is partly represented, with Kanalrennet in Lunde. We want to represent Ulefoss in the best way to attract national tourists and also draw some attention to the fact that people could move there.

TelemarksVeka is already a concept,  the main idea around TelemarksVeka is to promote different places in Telemark, and to get more tourists to visit Telemark, to create an interest for Telemark for people who does not live here.  They make events in Bø, Lunde, Notodden and shows the places from their best sides. They are using TV2 to send it on tv, to get TV2 included they have been using celebrities so people will have a good reason to look at the show at TV, and attend the event.

After some research, we found out that Ulefoss is not included at TelemarksVeka at all, so our idea is to make an event for Ulefoss, called Nature Trend Days! We thought to include/represent Ulefoss in Telemarksveka would be a great opportunity to show TV watchers what the destination has to offer. Also prove that Ulefoss has something to be proud of, and it has potential to be an amazing tourist destination after all. In our program for TelemarksVeka we want to include both cultural and nature components and make the event in a modern way.

Øvre Verket. Foto: Maren Sandbakk

To attract the television and more people we want to use famous Team Ingebrigtsen. To show people the beautiful nature Nome has to offer, we will arrange a hike with Team Ingebrigtsen. Here people can sign up, and walk the beautiful Skarravegen, from Ulefoss to Vrangfoss. On the walk you pass Ulefoss Hovedgaard with its beautiful park and museum with old horse vehicles. You pass Eidsfoss sluice by going over the steam gates and end up at Vrangfoss sluice, which  with is five locks is the canal’s largest and most impressive building. We also want to use Jenny Skavlan to have a fashion show. This will be in cooperation with the clothing stores Cigill in Ulefoss and Victoria & Henrik in Lunde. There will be shown clothes from their stores, but locals will also have the opportunity to donate clothes they don’t use anymore, and other people can buy them after. This is a activity supporting the huge trend we have now in sustainability and also hence the name.

To illustrate the heritage and the local culture of Ulefoss, and show it so people will explore it and feel it, we would like to use AR in cooperation with MS Victoria. The visitors will be able to see how Ulefoss looked 100-200 years ago, with the iron factory and they will see how they lived that long ago. We will illustrate the old houses, and also with someone telling the story of Ulefoss so it will be put into context. This is something that could be a permanent activity in Ulefoss in cooperation with Telemarkskanalen.

MS Victoria. Foto: Maren Sandbakk

To complete the event, we need the entire local community to collaborate. And we need available resources as Søve High School, MS Victoria, Nome Municipality, Telemarkskanalen, Øvre Verket and TelemarksVeka. We need this resources to promote the local identity, so we can show Ulefoss from their best site, and include every small detail.

As stakeholders we want to use local firms, to invest and to participate in the project. Local companies should have something to offer to the visitors and tourists, they should prepare offers, sales, free entrance. We want the whole town to gain something on this project over time.

Our target group would mainly be families, but of course we want to reach out to everyone. This will mostly be people from the cities/towns nearby such as Seljord, Notodden, Bø etc. The arrangement will be mostly fitted for families, which they can participate in.

Compared to earlier years, there is now a greater desire for authentic cultural experiences where the tourists wants to experience something different. This is something we are trying to offer the tourists visiting Ulefoss/Nome/Telemark.. This goes under the trend social and cultural. There is also a significant increase in the use of every sort of technology. That is why we want to adapt the AR with the app, as everyone always has their phone with them now. Our use of Team Ingebrigtsen would also go under this category, as they are huge in social media, and will give us even greater expansion. 

We want to arrange the activities so that it is as sustainable as possible, as that is a huge tourism trend now. For example we want to attract a market that isn’t too dependent on too much travel, therefore appeal to the people in Bø, Sauherad, Skien etc. Also arrange it so that people get the best experience possible because that is what people expect, especially when it comes to customer service etc.

We also want to make Nome more competitive as a destination, we feel like they aren’t doing enough to raise the tourism market within the destination. There is a increasing trend when it comes to tourism, people are traveling more than ever and they want to experience something different, this is something we had in the back of our heads when developing our idea.

We decided to implement artificial reality while MS Victoria is taking place, visitors/tourists will be allowed to see how was Ulefoss village 200 years ago and its heritage from the river coast. They would only need to download the AR application on their mobile phone, for the ones who can not download it we would provide them tablets so that everybody could enjoy the experience.

First of all through Telemarksveka. This is marketed through TV, and also a lot on Facebook with different events that people can engage in. We would also use the popular platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. To reach out to our audience we would choose platform depending on which they use the most and where it’s easiest to reach them. To attract both locals and people from the bigger cities we want to focus the marketing on local experience and support. We know that the marketing true celebrities profiles gives a extreme range, they have a lot of followers both young and adults, so we are hoping that the celebrities who will take a part of the event, will promote it on their own social channel. We will also ask to use the social channels of Visit Bø, and local newspapers. (TA, Bø blad, Kanalen).

We strongly believe that this will bring more attention to Nome as a destination. Because of the use of nature, AR and celebrities it will hopefully reach out to a lot of people, and highlight some of the attractions Nome has to offer. 

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