Hello! It’s Min the Stranger again!
My FAM trip to Piteå was unexpectedly amazing. I was not much like a student with a 13-hour FAM trip: walking leisurely in the warm and cosy feeling the city provided, being surrounded by the splendid nature and enjoying my hours with new people. I have had a great time, to be honest…
However, as a economical destination, “The Riviera of Swedish Lapland” has certain major concerns that affect its growth and need to be addressed soon. One of them is B2B networking and cooperation.
#1. NETWORKING AND THE STORY OF BEING SHADOWED
There are about approximately 1 million visitors in Piteå during its high season annually. They decide Piteå as their stop, because of its hidden charm that not everyone can see. This place is an untapped destination, but is being underestimated by the national and regional tourism industry.
Just as tourism links people and places around the world, so tourism officials also need to link up with other tourism business and government agencies and business to be successful.
Piteå has sufficient infrastructure: accommodation (Pite Havsbad, Kust, etc), entertaining tourism activities (Guide Natura, etc), transportation (Piteå Citybuss AB, etc) . However, the companies will rather be super big or super small. There are no medium-sized companies in between (tour operators and travel agencies) so that is why they mostly do not have any connections. There is no such an actual development plan for the destination, especially Cooperation and Partnership management; and all the players are not willing to coordinate.
Let’s take an example. Piteå’s attractions are scattered every where, from the North to the South; which means public transportation and shuttle bus will be the bridge between those places. However, you can rarely see a sign of bus stop in those destinations. In addition, Piteå is now expecting to expand its winter tourism – the off-peak season; and they are trying to create revenue INDIVIDUALLY. Just look at how crazy it is!
That is Piteå within the local area. In a regional level, Piteå does shake hands with other municipalities in Swedish Lapland; but its image is being shadowed by its popular neighbor: Lulea. In my perspective, Piteå deserves to have a fair opportunity to develop and grow with more attention from the government, because there are nothing that Lulea has but Piteå doesn’t have. And in order to blow the coats, big companies in Piteå don’t seem to care so much about the total growth of the city, because they are too afraid to be the pioneer.
#2. THERE ARE TOO MANY DIFFICULTIES TO SUPPORT OTHERS. IS THAT TRUE?
The answer is yes, but it is not impossible. No businesses in the area is seeking for the solutions or being responsible. The small companies (for example Guide Natura) do not have enough human resources and financial stability to endure the work. All businesses must unite in order to impulse the growth of Piteå .
I suggest that so as to boost the coordinating process, one big company should stand up to be the head of local businesses. They are competitors but at the same time partners. They need someone to link all the missing parts: creating packages that include small enterprises (cross-selling) and cross-marketing within the city. Even though due to the tourism law, there will be some raising issues about tax and regulations but just as I said, it is not impossible!
Starting to think about it is not enough, you must have the guts to implement and ensure the development of tourism sector in Piteå in 10 years from now on. A place with limitless potentials like Piteå must not be forgotten.