Poster presentation for Destination Development minor yields two winners

The level of quality was high and the jury had trouble choosing a winner. As a result, two groups of fourth-year students from the Tourism Management programme were named winners of the poster presentation for the Destination Development minor in Diemen: ‘Step INTO the painting’ and ‘I amazed’. 'In truth, we could have handed out a lot more awards,” was the enthusiastic comment from Manon Joosten, the coordinator of the minor. 'All of the students have demonstrated enormous growth in recent weeks!'

In the Destination Development minor, Tourism Management students envision small-scale, local solutions for the complex problem of the tourist surplus in Amsterdam and the metropolitan region. The client, amsterdam&partners, proposed two assignments: create or promote meaningful encounters that offer both tourists/visitors and local residents an appealing experience...

1) within the city of Amsterdam, with the help of the I amsterdam City Card app; and

2) in the ‘Castle and Garden’ region.

The students were also required to support the city's tourism distribution policy in both assignments. Four groups created concepts for the Gooi and Vechtstreek region. The other groups supplied content for the I amsterdam City Card app of amsterdam&partners.

Breeding ground for art
For the group ‘Step INTO the painting’, it was only natural to turn their attention to the picturesque landscape found in the region of the Netherlands known as the Gooi and Vechtstreek. 'During a networking event that centred on the topic of how to draw tourists to the area outside Amsterdam, we found ourselves speaking with an expert who told us that the Gooi and Vechtstreek region is sometimes referred to as the country's "breeding ground for art". Apparently, in the past, a number of painters moved from Amsterdam to the "Castle and Garden" region to find inspiration in nature and the tranquillity there,' explains student Rianne. 'This resulted in some quite lovely paintings.'

The idea of a tour was born. 'We selected places that are depicted in paintings and have a fascinating story behind them. That is how we designed a recommended route.' Once you arrive at the location in question, you get a pop-up video in the app on your smartphone showing the painting that corresponds to that particular place.

'It took us quite a while to arrive at this concept. It was a real process of trial and error, which was very stressful. That's why we ended up with only one painting per location; we hope to add more in future. Especially since there isn't much public transport in that part of the country and it takes quite a while to get from one place to another.'

Five senses
The ‘I amazed’ group, on the other hand, based their City Surprise Tour app on the idea of the five senses; you start the tour at a certain point and then decide what you are in the mood for and which direction you will go. As student Rachel explains, 'If you're hungry, for example, you're not going to walk a great distance first; you're going to immediately pick a restaurant or café along the route. As a result, the tour lets you "choose your own adventure" as it were, and this will be different for everyone.' Fellow group member Daphne explains the process: 'It was really a lot of fun, but quite difficult as well. We are very happy and relieved to see this result – we certainly fought hard enough to achieve it!' What's more, a lot of things are starting to fall into place for Rachel: 'Everything I learned in the past years of my studies is coming together. It all just makes so much more sense to me now!'

Intensive process
Fifty-four fourth-year Tourism Management students worked, in groups, in an intensive process aided by design-oriented research in order to arrive at exciting tourism-related products. The participants were students from Inholland Diemen, Haarlem and Rotterdam, all of whom had selected the Destination Development minor. It was a ten-week process filled with excursions, network events, guest lectures, workshops, sessions with experts at amsterdam&partners and Better Together Agency, consultancy sessions with lecturers, desk and field research and – of course – meetings of the student groups themselves to discuss and elaborate ideas.

Finally, on 11 November, the groups had the chance to introduce their prototypes (which they had first field-tested with tourists and subsequently made improvements to) via a poster presentation in front of an audience including representatives of the city of Amsterdam, the office of the Amsterdam Metropolitan AreaHouse of Hospitality and amsterdam&partners. Two juries – consisting of external experts, an alderman and (on behalf of Inholland) lecturer Guido Stompff and associate professor Roos Gerritsma from the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab – each selected a finalist. Both finalist groups then delivered a closing presentation. The juries and audience were so impressed by each of these that both groups were named winners.

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