Destination Sörmland – Creating a new digital strategy

Just before the summer, I finished a course focused on service design processes and the different methodologies involved. The aim was to help organisations innovate and potentially change their strategies. I decided to work with the Swedish tourism association and co-create a new digital value proposition in which collaboration with local enterprises became key.

The Sörmland region is an attractive alternative for tourists. It has a great infrastructure, offers unique experiences and is only one hour away from Stockholm. At the same time, globalization and digitalization raise new challenges for the tourism industry. Within the service sector, the conditions change even faster. Customer behaviour, communication, sales channels and shared economy require that enterprises increase their ability to adjust existing practices and adopt new work methods.

First, on a strategic level, the methods that are currently being used to engage enterprises haven’t proven much success. So my team and I asked the question; how can we engage enterprises to collaborate and participate in product development projects? On the other hand, from an operational perspective, activities and experiences are offered individually by the enterprises. This led to the question; how could we create a connection between different tourist sights?

Stakeholder involvement

To develop a deep understanding of what is hindering collaboration in the tourism industry in Sörmland, small and medium enterprises in the region were interviewed to get their insights. Furthermore, to gain a holistic view of the context, relevant stakeholders from the public sector were involved. In addition to that, end-users (i.e. customers) were interviewed to learn about the market needs.

A valuable moment of this project was a participatory workshop with a selected team from Destination Eskilstuna, a regional development agency, to co-define a value proposition. For this, the Value Proposition Canvas was used as a tool to visualize, design and test how Destination Eskilstuna can create value for their customers (SMEs).

The result

During our study, we learned that there is an absence of a shared vision among the enterprises themselves and the industry as a whole, which is central for collaboration. Also, actors in the tourism industry come from different professions, therefore, there is a lack of physical interaction between those actors which could be a starting point for such collaboration.

Furthermore, we learned that time is a pressing factor; co-producing packages is timeconsuming and small enterprises don’t have the time to invest in such activities. Beside that we have seen a clear change in the customer behavior which indicates a need for a one-stop-shop; a platform that brings the different services in one space where the customers then can customize their own packages.

Video of the outcome of the project

Next: Coach – Making data tangible

During my minor in User Experience Design, I worked on a mobile application that predicts the best time for outdoor activities based on environmental data. 

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