On 2-3 November 2017, 140 delegates from the Baltic Sea States gathered in the City of Turku to debate on “The Future of Baltic Sea Tourism” as the principle theme of this year’s Forum. The CPMR Baltic Sea Commission Maritime Working Group met the day before in Turku and hence enabled participants to stay and discuss topics such as sustainability, digitalisation, tourism funding and cooperation.
Selected experts provided insight into the topics that determine future developments in the tourism sector. Among others:
- Ms Anke Domscheit-Berg, Member of the Federal Parliament in Germany, shared a glimpse on “Digitalisation and the Future of Travel”;
- Ms Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, Secretary General of the John Nurminen Foundation, provided a keynote speech on “Collaboration because it works. The measurable results in sustainable maritime culture”;
- Mr Frank Cuypers, Senior Strategic Consultant of the consulting agency DestinationThink, stimulated a discussion on “The future of Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) and sustainable funding models for DMOs”.
In addition, the Forum provided perspectives for smart transnational cooperation and detected requirements for a future competence facility called Baltic Sea Tourism Centre (BSTC). The planned BSTC should close a gap between political and operational level, pool knowledge and expertise and bundle the interests of the tourism sector to voice them together on a macro regional level.
Hosts of the 10th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum were: Visit Turku and the City of Turku, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, Visit Finland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, in close cooperation with the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourist Board and Policy Area Tourism of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region as constant organisers of the Forum.
The 2018 Baltic Sea Tourism Forum will be held in Riga.