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Sustainable tourism products created in student competition

Association of Finnish Travel Agents arranged a national tourism competition for students. A team including Laurea’s exchange students made its way to the final.

Students’ tourism competition was arranged for a third time and this year the theme was sustainability. All together 20 teams attended and six of them were chosen to the final held at the Matka 2019 –fair. Laurea’s exchange students Miriam Unrath and Mohammed El Beghdadi, together with Tikkurila high school’s exchange student Weichen Fang, got the chance to present their own idea at the final.

Sustainable traveling

Students’ task in the competition was to create a new tourism product or service that advances sustainable traveling. Miriam, Mohammed and Weichen started with doing some analysis and surveys. Based on the analysis, they created a persona and then observed the challenges the persona is facing. As a result was a service called The Unique Photo Experience.

The service would offer authentic nature experiences in greater Helsinki. It was designed especially for the needs of Asian tourists. Tourists could choose between three different nature packages, which included hiking, swimming and, of course, sauna. What makes this product unique is the photographer, who would stay with the tourists during the hikes and take professional photos of them. This would give tourists more freedom to enjoy nature since they would not have to worry about low battery, self-timers or bad quality photos.

Business Management students Unrath and El Beghdadi tell that the project was an interesting experience. All three team members were from different countries. Miriam, who’s German, was chosen as the leader of the team as she had the most experience in similar projects. Mohammed, coming from Morocco, was happy with the division of work and thanks Miriam especially for her great organization skills.

“The idea of the product was not clear on our minds from the beginning. The idea materialized in the final base of the analysis”, Miriam and Mohammed tell together.

Overall, the team is happy with the result. Place in the final was not a big surprise.

“We knew that we`ve put hard work into the whole project and were already rewarded from our lecturers”, Miriam says.

“We think the strength of our project is in the easy application of the service because it does not need a lot of resources to implement it.”

In the final the competition was tough. The Unique Photo Experience received applause from the audience and positive feedback from the jury, but unfortunately did not win the top prize.