DEVELOPMENT OF A NATIONAL QUALITY SYSTEM
A National Quality System for companies which offer activities, attractions, museums and festivals will be launched autumn’18. Winter Experiences Northern Norway is the main initiator, but cooperates with other clusters and organisations.
The need to develop a National Quality System is business driven, and the two Arena projects Innovative Opplevelser and Lønnsomme Vinteropplevelser conducted a R&D project in 2012/13. The goals were to define positive and negative consequences of certifications in tourism, especially related to nature-based experiences and guiding. The project was conducted as a comparison with existing quality systems in Scotland, New Zealand and Iceland, and made up a valuable basis.
The study shows that certifications, both on an individual and business level, contribute to increased quality. Competing countries have an advantage as Norway is a high-cost nation and has to compete on quality. Norway’s greatest potential is experience-based tourism, especially the nature-based travel industry with very little formalised and certified competence and quality.
Last but not least, nature-based experiences face higher risks because of weather, wind, landscape and equipment etc, that can cause accidents, damage and death of both guests and staff.
Now, another R&D project «A science-based quality assurance system for outdoor adventure tourism in Norway» and a main project «National Quality System», are going on. The R&D project will study, analyse and document different aspects of the development and implementation of a quality system in parts of the Norwegian travel industry. The National Quality System will certify companies after being visited by an adviser (mystery guest). Each company receives a report after the visit, and becomes quality assured if achieving the required score. The criterias is developed by IQ International and the previously mentioned R&D project. In 2018 20 companies are being piloted.
COOPERATION WITH NCE TOURISM FJORD NORWAY
Based on market needs and needs of coordinating products, Arctic-365 and NCE Tourism Fjord Norway have established a project-oriented cooperation.
Winter North & Fjord: The development of a new winter experience lasting one week and including Northern Lights experiences in Northern Norway and Fjord experiences at the Western Coast of Norway. The product will be tested in the market as a shared responsibility.
High-End Sport Fishing experience combined with visits to fish farming facilities and accomodation in comfortable hotels. A cooperation with the Norwegian Seafood Council is established in this project, which will work with product development as well as testing of the products in the market.
These are two projects established through a close cooperation between the clusters. We want to strengthen this in the future and other common projects will be considered.
EXPERIENCE TROMSØ REGION
In close cooperation Winter Experiences Northern Norway, Bussring and several partners have established this product, making the Tromsø region more accessible for travelers. In the winter season there are daily departures with modern coaches from Tromsø to Narvik / Narvik to Tromsø and Tromsø to Lyngen / Lyngen to Tromsø. Together, we have made it easier to reach a great variety of activities in Lyngen, Senja, Målselv, Bardu and Narvik. Daytrips and packages with accommodation are also available. The service operates from December 1st until end of March. There will be light refreshments and online guiding onboard the coaches.
There are also departures from Narvik towards Tromsø that correspond with the incoming train from Kiruna to Narvik, and early departures from Polar Park that correspond with the bus from Tromsø making it possible for travelers to catch the afternoon train from Narvik to Kiruna. This makes it possible for travelers to reach Tromsø from Kiruna and Kiruna from Tromsø within the same day.
More information and booking at Bussring, Visit Tromsø, Visit Narvik or directly at the partners.
DIRECT FLIGHT FROM FRANKFURT TO TROMSØ
Winter Experiences Northern Norway initiated direct flights between Frankfurt and Tromsø. From november 2017, Lufthansa increased the number of flights to two departures per week.
Incoming operators in the cluster have made packages with Winter Experiences in Northern Norway that are perfectly matched with the flights Lufthansa operates. The offers are meant for Tour Operators, and cover different parts of Northern Norway from the North Cape to the Lofoten Islands.
Daily bus departures from Tromsø to the regions works well, and the cooperation among Bussring and several tourism companies is extended to increase the effects of the direct flights.