The ability to react to consumer needs before others turns a service company into a forerunner. Although Finnish companies still have a lot of work ahead of them in this respect, the Tourism and Leisure Services programme showed them how to approach Tekes with regard to development work. The programme concludes at the end of this year, but Tekes will continue to fund development projects in this sector in the future.
“The programme was an important learning process for companies providing tourism and leisure services and for Tekes. I believe that it will be easier for companies to approach Tekes in the future,” says Ritva Ohmeroluoma, who chaired the programme steering group.
The Tourism and Leisure Services programme aimed at developing business models, processes and new services and service concepts for companies in the sector. More than 50 networking events were held during the programme, 4 study trips were arranged and funding was provided for approximately 80 company and 35 research organisation development projects. The total volume of the project was about EUR 25 million.
Companies understand the importance of services, but there’s still room for development in terms of entering international markets
Tourism and leisure services have incredible international growth potential. In Finland, companies are relatively small, which means that innovation and business development can lead to a lot of growth.
Great improvement was shown in terms of understanding the significance of tourism and leisure business development: “The programme was successful in enhancing appreciation of service sectors and produced encouraging examples of service business development,” says Programme Manager Risto Mäkikyrö.
“Despite the challenges involved with exporting service concepts, we also saw major advances in this area during the project. Excellent examples of this are the completely new service model for Omena Hotels and Tero Saarinen Company’s service product concept based on an artistic presentation. Both focused specifically on growth in foreign markets," says Mäkikyrö in praise.
Mr. Risto Mäkikyrö, Programme Manager
Tel. +358 2950 27414
risto.makikyro (at) tekes.fi