VisitNordjylland has accomplished a destination development procedure during the period 2012-2014.
This has been done through the project “Coastal towns in Growth” which has supported the concept and area development in 6 different coastal holiday towns, in North Jutland, with great growth potential. The 6 destinations which now have developed potential plans for the development of tourism are; Øster Hurup, Hals, Skagen, Løkken, Blokhus and Klitmøller – Nørre Vorupør.
The destinations are now in a phase where the prioritised development initiatives are to be embedded and organised concerning the businesses, tourism organisations, municipalities and investors.
The goal of this project is to create teamwork and network between the tourism industry, organisations and the municipality on the identified potentials realisations through binding plans of action, with the placement of responsibility of problem-solving and financing. The objective is to utilise a development model which promotes the businesses incorporation of new processes and new organisations, which can, in turn, support the new products and offers, prioritised in potential plans. Simultaneously, the development process should secure the necessary cohesion with municipal plans and investment opportunities via private investors, such as RealDania, and more.
A development network (concerning business, tourism organisations, municipality and other relevant interested) is established in the six destinations to be concerned with 1-2 specific concepts from the potential plans, which have possibilities for development. Besides this, cross-disciplinary ERFA and coordination meetings are held.
Supported by external consultants’ new services, offers, quality and possible new physical areas are defined, with the requirements for the realisation of the concept.
The development network places the responsibility and set timeframes for the implementation, in a shared plan of action for each destination.
The involved tourism organisations receive consultancy support for the implementation of internal changes in the organisation, competencies and financing as the participation in the shared plan of action demand.
Simultaneously, financing opportunities are sought for new physical areas, among these, investor projects are produced based on analyses of local economic effect and yield.
The plan of action is imbedded in local organisations who, take part in a binding collaboration agreement with all business operators.
A part of the potential plan for the town of Øster Hurup, which won the award as the ‘Strongest Coastal Town Concept in Denmark’ at the end of the conference for ‘Coastal Towns in Growth’ (Kystbyer I Vækst), is well on its way to be implemented:
The new backbone of the town is the most important element for the holistic plan for Øster Hurup, which in general should create cohesion in the town, solve traffic issues and create more space, with room for vulnerable and other road users and increased town life. The realisation of the plan should result in a town, as an experience, should offer space, links and functions which makes it more fun and more interesting to visit and live in the town – for all.
The project surrounding the backbone of the town will give the central part of the town’s physical environment a boost and the connection between town and harbour, the three central town spaces will be programmed with new functions and create space for different activities. The results would make the central part of Øster Hurup multi-functional and more useful, the town will be experienced as a cohesive area with a town environment of high quality.
The project of the new backbone of the town responds to the point of criticism from the guest satisfaction analysis, and it is expected to have large effect on the attraction of new visitors. Visitors will have a better and more cohesive experience when visiting the town, where the level of town environment, beach, nature and the level of service is much higher. The new backbone of the town will promote existing qualities in the town and, with the cohesion and the three above mentioned functions in the town centre which, in turn, will add more to do for many different user groups. The hopes and expectations are that the existing tourists will stay longer, choose to return and work as ambassadors for the town of Øster Hurup when they are back home. With a lot of upgraded and new town spaces that will add unique diversity to the central part of Øster Hurup, Øster Hurup will, in turn, appeal and accommodate the needs of a wider spectrum of target audiences, thus having more visitors.
”Realisability” has been a keyword all through the process of the development of an overall plan for Øster Hurup. Focus has always been that the result should be ‘realisable’ and the goal was to get as close to realising as possible.
The political anchoring has been successful, and the town council set aside 8,5 million DKK at a budget negotiation, for the first phase of the project in Øster Hurup.
Besides the public investments in Øster Hurup, there is a need for the private organisations and industries to share their part of the project, by developing experiences, offers for overnight stays and shopping and more, from the shared concept to create increased turnover and the jobs that should be the result. Meanwhile, there is a need for a supplement to the investment from the municipality from another public or private sector, if the plan is to be fulfilled and the wished-for effect is reached.
The problem shows itself in all 6 destinations and a collective and structured support function for the industry’s implementation of the new products and services should be able to be supported through attentive projects so that a faster and larger effect of the developed potential plans can be achieved.