The Shaping Ecotourism Conference workshop on Digital Approaches to Ecotourism (Feb 4th) focused on digital media and marketing approaches applicable to ecotourism. We had insights into creative use of marketing technology in Iceland. In addition, 360 technologies were presented with case examples from Finland, including a forthcoming project in Koli, North Karelia Biosphere Reserve. We also learned about capacity building activities and the Digi2Market project, which is producing immersive technology solutions for SMEs.
Einar Ben, Partner / Owner at Tjarnargatan, presented the creative side of marketing technology. Ben is awarded digital media specialist from Iceland, described as follows. “If you need a person to discuss digital with, I would strongly recommend you talk to Einar”. Einar provided examples how to create impact – also a strong and emotional one – with creative personalized campaigns utilising social media contents.
One of the awarded cases, Hold Focus campaign, has reduced significantly the use of mobile phone when driving, and thus likely prevented also accidents. The principles and technologies for creating personalized creative campaigns are applicable also to ecotourism.
Founders of 360 Finland, Rami Saarikorpi and Sami Vuomajoki create large 360 presentations of various companies, tourist attractions, industrial companies and other areas that need extensive introductions.
Rami is one of the pioneers in the 360 field. He has been involved in numerous 360 industry development projects. Sami has over 20 years of experience in the photography business. Sami’s expertise is in aerial photography, videos, editing and publishing, he has become one of the 360 experts in aerial photography. Their forthcoming 360 project on Koli, NK Biosphere, provided an inspiring insight into opportunities of visualizing BR assets and facilities. This type of visualization could perhaps be the next step of marketing ecotourism initiatives developed within Shape project.
Marja-Liisa Ruotsalainen, Senior Project Manager at Karelia UAS, presented Digi2Market – immersive technologies for SMEs. The project provides support for 50 SMEs utilising virtual and augmented reality technologies. AR (Zappar) -based animation and video content for Waahto Brewery, provided a tangible example how companies can market sustainability and quality properties of their products. The project creates an open-access digital service called Digital City, on digital marketing resources, networks and examples. The service is expected to be launched in summer 2020.
Essential part of digital approaches is the capacity building. Tour Manager Joonatan Lämsä, Tamora Ltd., presented the community of about 20 specialists attending in training and capacity building programme led by Tamora ltd. in Joensuu. This community can provide support and collaboration for SMEs and other stakeholders interested in digital marketing, among other topics.
The workshop provided us an insight into various approach with lots of potential in SHAs. They can be applied in novel ways to draw attention and to create impact. The digital approaches of SHA’s also require some strategic thinking on how to manage and use the digital tools in responsible manner – to add value and to encourage for support sustainable ecotourism.