New mobility services for individual travellers bring growth to business and sustainability

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A nationwide project led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Lapland is developing mobility and tourism services for domestic and foreign individual travellers in Finland. The aim is to create new types of tourism mobility services and export business that utilize digitalisation.  The new service concepts are being tested in the Fell Lapland, Turku archipelago and Kuusamo areas.

Before the corona pandemic, Finnish tourism exports were growing rapidly, which is largely explained by the increase in the number of foreign individual tourists. Finland's tourism assets for international travellers are remote destinations, nature, and nature experiences. Their importance has increased during the corona pandemic. 

However, in sparsely populated areas, accessing nature attractions without your own car is difficult. For international travellers in particular, finding alternative modes of transport and travel chains connecting different modes of transport can be impossible in the current situation. Relevant information on, for example, travel modes, timetables and services at the destination is fragmented across a number of different websites and services. 

"There is a need for an individually adaptable service that brings together existing digital services and provides all relevant information for customers on a one-stop-shop basis with a mobile device or smartphone application", says project manager Jenni Eckhardt from VTT.  

This requires that existing digital services can connect to each other and that new features can be added to them. The project will test new traveller and tourism-based mobility concepts as part of the solution development work. The aim is to create real-time and location-based service packages so that tourists have access to, for example, a route guide that combines tourism services with mobility services, as well as an easy way to book and pay for long-haul and local journeys, as well as various services in the area. 

Fell Lapland, the Turku archipelago and the Kuusamo region all face the same challenge. Finnish nature is unique, but tourism mobility is challenging. For this reason, these are great areas in which to test new service concepts.

"The concepts of sustainable mobility that are being developed have enormous potential. The activities as a whole promote resource-wise and low-carbon mobility where the end goal is a satisfied individual traveller who can easily find the services he or she needs", says Veli-Matti Hettula from the Fell Lapland Development Association.

FIT ME! (Foreign Individual Travelers’ hospitality and Mobility Ecosystem)

Business Finland finances the FIT ME! ecosystem project (Experience Commerce Finland programme), which is coordinated by VTT, and the research partner is the University of Lapland. The business partners involved in the project are Bout Oy Ab, Beyond Arctic Oy, Oy Matkahuolto Ab, Sitowise Oy, KovaKoodarit Oy and iQ Payments Oy. Other partners in the project are Northeast Finland Development Company Naturpolis Oy, Fell Lapland Development Association, Traffic Management Company Fintraffic Oy, Kemiönsaari Municipality, Turku Science Park Oy, Naantalin Matkailu Oy and the City of Parainen. The project is seeking for new business partners as well. 

The tourism mobility ecosystem which is being built will strengthen the existing business of companies and generate significant new opportunities for the tourism and mobility industries. The ecosystem emphasises cross-sectoral and administrative stakeholder cooperation with the authorities, multidisciplinary involvement from the different tourism areas, and national and Nordic co-operation in the fields of transport, mobility services and tourism. 

The budget of the project is approximately €1,700,000.  Total duration of the project is from 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2023.

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Jenni Eckhardt

Jenni Eckhardt

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