Business Support Program
The Business Support Program is organized for selected companies from Finland, Norway and Sweden, which are located in the Northern Lights Route area. The aim of the Business Support Program is to support small-scale tourism companies in becoming more visible by using core stories as a digital marketing tool. By participating in the support programme companies get knowledge, practical skills and advice from experts within the various fields on how to develop a digital story. Collectively the companies will through storytelling also make the Northern Lights Route area more attractive for visitors.
The program includes three workshops with the following themes:
Workshop 1. Discovering and building a company’s core story
Workshop 2. Digital story production (Part I May 2021 – digital webinar, part II October 2021 in Tornio, Finland)
Workshop 3. Digital marketing and distribution
The MyStory project will provide companies an opportunity to get to know each other and make new connections, which subsequently can create new cooperations and other opportunities In the end of the program companies will have their own digital core story and the knowledge on how to utilize it in their own operations as well as the knowledge on various digital tools
We are living in the world of digitalization. In order to be on the wave of this megatrend it is essential to move towards it and explore new horizons. One of MyStory project’s objectives is to produce digital pilots in order to show how high-tech tools can be utilized in the tourism industry in the most cost-effective ways. The MyStory project is planning to test and highlight the production of visually attractive materials in the context of storytelling and cultural heritage of the Northern Lights Route area. The purpose of the pilots is to highlight the local culture of the area, e.g. information and stories about the site and its history in a visual and engaging way.
What are digital pilots?
MyStory project uses digital pilots as examples of high-tech tools. Digital pilots are the way of utilizing new technologies such as augmented reality (AR) in digital content production and marketing.
Why use it?
New digital solutions were seen as an opportunity to increase the number of potential customers and attractiveness of the region. New technologies are also becoming increasingly popular among tourists at all stages of customer journey. Indeed, technologies have been shown to bring economic value. Digitized content can be not only used to enhance the visitor experience but also help to increase sustainable operations of the companies.
The aim of the vision work process is to develop a common cross-border tourism vision for the Northern Lights Route region, as well as a roadmap for achieving the vision. The vision work is based on an inclusive process, carried out by Finland Futures Research Center University of Turku. The purpose of vision work is to involve stakeholders as widely as possible in considering a common future and practical measures.
Why vision work?
The development of the Northern Lights Route started about 20 years ago in cooperation of Tornio Valley Council with Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian road administrations. Road signs were placed along the route. However, the route has not been promoted enough and hardly recognizable among visitors.
Based on the feedback received during the Our Stories project it was indicated that tourism stakeholders in the Northern Lights Route area need more strategic cross-border tourism development and cooperation in order to make the area more visible and stand out from other destinations. Therefore MyStory project started the vision work process, which concentrates on the development of the brand of the area as well as promotes cross-border tourism cooperation.
The vision work process was implemented during October 2020 – February 2021 and included focus discussion groups, surveys and workshops, where various outcomes were presented and developed. The Northern Lights Route Vision 2030 was completed and the results from the last workshop were finalised and translated into Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian. Afterwards the results were presented in the MyStory project’s webinar in May 2021, where everyone was welcomed to attend.
The vision work can be considered as a starting point for other projects to further Northern Lights Route’s brand. The final publications are available in Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish languages.