Written by: Tommy Gao Kverndal, Seselja Lydvo, Eilen Flathus Slaaen, Hilde-Kristine Lundestad, Petter Mjanger Kvidbergskår. Destination development group 8, autumn 2019, University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø.
We want not just to make something brand new, something separate from all the other initiatives in Nome. Since KRAFT/CUPIDO is all about collaborating, we wanted to merge all of Nome in to something. Nome has few places where you can spend the night as a tourist, thus we came up with the idea: A small boutique hotel that comprises 8-15 rooms, each with individual concepts/themes.
The themes in the hotel rooms will be inspired by the different initiatives around in the municipality: Ulefos Jernværk, Norsjø Golfpark, Øvre Verket, paintings by Elisabeth from Villa Lunde, volcano, Ulefos Hovedgaard, Romnes Medieval Church. Our aim is to make people want to explore Nome even further than they planned.
Mette Sanden who runs the museum Øvre Verket in Ulefos pointed out in her presentation that they are missing accommodation in Ulefos, which makes it a challenge for tourists to come and visit. As stated by Heidi Elise Kvale who is the head of the cultural department in Nome, most of the housing options in Nome are caravan parks or camping sites. By building or making a hotel the tourist will stay and visit more attractions and sites in Nome.
Why did we choose to call it ‘Craft Hotel’? We were inspired firstly by the KRAFT/CUPIDO Project, then we realised that the word in English also related to our idea – art: ironworks, paintings, the church, etc. Power, art, and competence is what we are all about.
“[There is an] Increasing regional focus to tourism and travel.” – Alastair M. Morrison.
Nome has great potential when it comes to tourism, but only one bed-accomodation offer. To be able to compete with Bø and other cultural heritage destinations Nome needs more beds.
One of the reasons we chose this idea for the KRAFT/CUPIDO project is due to these days’ social and cultural trend of getting an authentic cultural experience. Tourists have a craving of experience and not just a bed for the night, thus the themed boutique hotel. We see that there is a huge trend in ecotourism and sustainable tourism in general, hence the collaboration with local stakeholders. Our idea of utilizing VR in collaboration with other initiatives in the local area (Nome), which we will come back to later, supports the technological trend within tourism.
There are plenty of ‘tourism market’-trends we could play with connected with our concept: greater concern with environmental sustainability, and short-break travel are some of them. As mentioned, the goal is for people to stay two or more nights and not just a drive through.
The collaboration comprises both making the VR-experience/videos, and the making of each hotel room. The stakeholders will join in on the planning and decorating of each their room, contributing with pictures, art work, and other decorations. The idea is to have small apartment-like rooms spread around Nome. It will be a multi-located hotel where the stakeholders could help cooperating the rooms. As mentioned, the rooms will have individual themes inspired by the stakeholders, so for example the room Øvre Verket would cooperate will be inspired by decorations sold in the shop and probably end up with a “old Norwegian farm/home”- feel to it. One main office will cover the marketing, accounting, and such; all the stakeholders will share the profits of the hotel to be able to invest in their own businesses, and to develop Nome. In the main office there would be space for VR-equipment.
Since VR is a huge trend nowadays, we wanted to integrate it in to the hotel. Craft Hotel is all about collaborations, thus, we want to work with some of the mentioned stakeholder to make VR-experiences from different attractions in Nome. The plan is to have a room in the main office on the city centre of Ulefoss where we place the VR-experience. We would collaborate with the stakeholders in making VR-movies like:
- Norsjø Golfpark: Play golf
- Volcano: Walk around the volcano like it was many years ago
- Ulefos Jernværk: Experience how the factory was back in time
- M/S Victoria: How it was in the early 1900s, through the locks
Local identity and sustainability
We want to work with local businesses, to create the rooms in the hotel, as a part of keeping the local identity and accentuate what Nome has to offer. This way each room will have its own theme, with elements that represents each business as in what they are. The businesses work with the hotel on creating a room that represents the business in what they do and what they stand for. E.g. in a room inspired by Ulefos Jernværk could be one of their beautiful antique ovens as a source of heat or just as a decoration. It will show some of the history and legacy of Ulefoss and Nome.
We will work on recycling on all levels, increase the opportunities for recycling and teach employees to think eco-friendly as well as buying recyclable products for the hotel, and cutting the use of unnecessary plastic products. There is a potential of becoming ecotourism certified or another kind of sustainable label.
The concept ‘Craft Hotel’ is probably most suited for people aged 50 and up. Our segment is people with a deeper cultural and historical interest, and technological knowledge. We want to focus on the national marked at first, then move slowly out and abroad.
Craft Hotel is a major collaboration with several stakeholders involved. Our focus is on local history and supporting the local community. With the inspiration from all the arts and craft in the area, the idea of a boutique hotel started to form. People need to stay in Nome and not just drive through, they need to experience all the beautiful culture, history and legacy Nome has to offer. We want to make that happen with Craft Hotel.