Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally The Future of Tourism

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1 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally The Future of Tourism Stevens & Associates, July 2013

2

3 Contents A Sense of Wonder A Sense of Welcome 1. A great place to live, work... and visit 2. Tourism the lifeblood of the economy 3. A shared vision for tourism 4. Come on, come on lets work together 5. Fanø A destination of choice

4 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism Sense of Wonder You gave me pictures in the gallery, You gave me novels on the shelf, You gave me ways and means and emotions, But, most of all you gave me knowledge of myself Words adapted from the song, Sense of Wonder by Van Morrison. Words that define the Fanø experience as a visitor. The point: counterpoint of war time bunkers: peace, of city: rural island, of innovation: respect for the past, contemporary design: historic buildings, old windmill: modern turbines, traditional culture: modern living. A remarkable, compact yet diverse, ensemble of nature, heritage, community and contemporary lifestyles. Fanø an engaging, enriching and compelling place to live, work and visit. Fanø a community where tourism has traditionally been important and is today the main driver of the economy BUT an Island where the future of direction for the tourism industry is uncertain. The tourism industry that is in need of being re-focused and re-energised. 2

5 The purpose of this report is to help the Island community develop their ideas about how to meet this challenge.

6 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism A Sense of Welcome The invitation to visit Fanø was received from the Fanø Council and the Videncenter for Kystturisme ( Bags were packed, pre-visit research completed, the itinerary agreed and wonderful images about Fanø were sent by . Between 27th May and 31st May 2013 informal and formal meetings were held with over 20 people from the tourism, business and cultural communities; a workshop was held with 16 stakeholders interested in tourism followed by a public meeting was held it was well attended with over 50 present and, finally, a presentation was made to the full Island Council. Visits were made to all parts of this fascinating Island. At all times the welcome and the hospitality I received was first class from the stay in the hotels to the service in the shops and restaurants and the friendliness and kindness of all who I met. I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to share your Island. I hope the report that follows helps you in shaping an agreed way forward for tourism on Fanø. 4 PROFESSOR TERRY STEVENS STEVENS & ASSOCIATES

7 At all times the welcome and the hospitality was first class 5

8 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism A great place to live, work. and visit 1. This is a remarkable Island destination with some strong icons: Fanø and Rindby Strands, The Bunkers, Sønderho, the seal bank and the oyster beds as well as the extraordinary history and culture and sense of place. There is consensus amongst everyone I met about the quality of life, the special community spirit and the importance of the Island s environment and heritage to all who live and visit. There is also consensus about Why a tourist must visit Fanø, the Island s core values and its personality: Why Visit? Values Personality Escape, peace, solitude Open minded Authentic Get close to a real community (authentic) Outward looking and international Caring Get close to nature (touchable) Innovative/inventive Honest Small, compact, understandable Independent Educated/Intellectual An Island experience Caring Active Unique culture & heritage stories Determined Community/People focused Find yourself/be yourself Wholesome and good Worldly Safe and friendly Laid back Good living 6

9 This is a remarkable Island destination with some strong icons... 7

10 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism Tourism the lifeblood of the economy 2. Fanø is a tourism Island. Tourism contributes more than 25% of the Island s total economy. In 2012 this industry was worth 417mDKKr. In 2012 Fanø welcomed 110,000 tourists who stayed a total of 670,000 nights. BUT, although these figures are impressive and show how important tourism is to the Island tourism is in decline... numbers have been falling (there were 150,000 visitors staying 801,000 nights just 4 years ago. In 2012 there were 7% less tourists than the year before. If this trend continues then by 2017 tourism will be worth lees than 300mDKKR per annum. In many ways tourism on Fanø is at a crossroads. The industry is fragile. It is highly seasonal and requires investment. Action is needed to turn this situation around. Especially because globally tourism numbers are increasing and in Europe tourism arrivals are expected to grow by 4% each year. So, the opportunity exists to grow tourism. Increasing competition from other destinations and difficult economic conditions are the main external factors causing this downturn in tourism on Fanø. HOWEVER, there are other factors much closer to home that are contributing to this decline. These must be addressed if trends are to be reversed. They include the need for : Working together on a common vision and strategy that will grow the value of tourism and extending the visitor season over the next 5 years; Establishing a destination management organisation to lead and coordinate the effort and resources required to deliver the vision and strategy; Positioning the Island as a must visit destination based upon its unique selling points focusing upon creating a portfolio of valuedriven Fanø visitor experiences; Attracting those visitors who want to enjoy Fanø and these experiences; Creating an environment that will encourage investment and re-energise tourism. 8

11 In 2012 Fanø welcomed 110,000 tourists who stayed a total of 670,000 nights... and it was worth 417mDKKr

12 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism Adopting this approach should result in closer, positive, collaboration; working together to solve common issues (from the concerns about the price of the ferry for visitors to attracting more investment); and, delivering visionary new initiatives such as the World Kite Centre and the redevelopment of Fanø Strand. The Destination Scorecard is a simple method of scoring the strengths and weaknesses of tourism in a destination 1. The scorecard was completed by those who attended the Workshop, by the Council and by Stevens & Associates. The completed Destination Scorecard for Fanø is included as the Appendix to this report. It clearly highlights where improvements (both short and long term) are needed on the Island. They include: Attractors Services Infrastructure Hotel provision Tourist Information Public transport Sports facilities Customer care Tourist signposting Entertainment Opening hours Off Island parking Interpretation of heritage Ferry welcome 1 The maximum score any feature can get is 5 and the minimum is 0. 10

13 This approach should result in closer, positive, collaboration; working together to solve common issues...

14 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism A shared vision for tourism 3. Fanø s positioning in the market place is the KEY. It needs to be bold and clear. It is a Danish Island reflecting the best of contemporary Danish lifestyles inspired by the island s rich heritage, nature and cultural traditions. An Island that has welcomed visitors for over 300 years. The emphasis must be upon developing tourism in line with the Island s environmental, cultural, physical and community capacity. It is about adopting a sustainable approach called the VERB model. This respects the interests of the visitor and the needs and concerns of those who live on the Island: Welcomes, involves & satisfies = VISITORS Protects, reflects & enhances = ENVIRONMENT Engages & benefits = High quality & profitable = RESIDENTS BUSINESSES It is about the growing the VALUE of tourism not the VOLUME of numbers of tourists. This will be achieved by adding value to local produce, products and stories thus giving visitors enhanced, exceptional, Fanø experiences. Quality not quantity. Tourist development should be focused upon delivering a unique, especially curated, portfolio of quality Fanø Experiences and products that reflect the values, character branding and sense of place of the Island. A kind of LIMITED EDITION of essential things to do, places to stay, great restaurants, wonderful art galleries and specialist shopping. Limited Edition implies: Collectable and special Quality and worth Selective and curated Limited in numbers and availability Sought after and special Fanø has to be a place where visitors want to be. They must be given reasons to come. They must be welcomed as guests, given wonderful experiences allowing them to leave as friends for life emotionally connected to the Island. 12

15 An Island that has welcomed visitors for over 300 years.

16 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism Come on, come on lets work together 4. It is time to work much more closely together to realise this goal. Recognise that the competition isn t the next door business on the Island; it is every other destination that exists in Jutland, Denmark, Europe and beyond. At present there is far too much used fighting and arguing with each other. Set aside these local issues in order to shape a new future for tourism on Fanø. The Island and the community deserve better, your businesses deserve better and the visitors certainly deserves better. So a fresh start. A new commitment to tourism based on a bold vision, ambitious positioning and a new way of working. Everyone has a role to play in this future. BUT as a start and in order to turn things around the Council has to play an important LEADERSHIP ROLE in the next 12 months. It is recommended that: 1. The Council convenes a meeting of everyone interested in tourism on the Island including the Tourism Council, the 4 Summer Houses organizations and other stakeholders. At this meeting it must be made very clear that everyone knows that change needs to happen and that the Council is committed to helping to make change happen in a partnership approach. 2. In the short term, the Council will act as facilitators of creating a new Vision and Strategy by establishing a Task and Finish Group of 6-8 people to prepare this within 6 months (by the Autumn). The Group will consist of representatives from the existing tourist association, the Ferry Company, a local specialist in branding and brand strategy PLUS two nominees from the public meeting PLUS a representative from the Videncenter for Kystturisme and an independent Chair. The Council must then stand back and allow this group to do its work. During their deliberations the Task and Finish Group should have access to advice and research from Helle and Poul and, if they wish, Stevens & Associates. 3. Once the Task and Finish Group have completed a draft Vision and Strategy they present to the Council and then to a reconvened meeting of everyone with an interest in tourism on Fanø. Once agreed this should then be able to be adopted with part of the recommendations being how to organize and structure tourism on Fanø with the possibility of the Task and Finish Group becoming the Board of a new Fanø destination management organization. This approach allows the Council to be seen to be proactive in facilitating change and involving all the stakeholders on the Island. 14

17 A new commitment to tourism based on a bold vision, ambitious positioning and a new way of working. 15

18 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism Fanø A destination of choice 5. The result of this approach will lead to Fanø becoming a destination of choice for new and old markets. For people who want to share the sense of place, the feelings of being part of an island community and the lifestyle of Fanø. For people who want to invest in you emotionally, financially and with their time and interests. Fanø must become a place I WANT to visit. And want to keep visiting throughout my life with my wife or partner, my children, my grandchildren, my friends and, occasionally just on my own. 16

19 17

20 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally. The Future of Tourism Appendix: Destination Scorecard Name of Destination: Fanø Date of Completion: May 2013 Attractors Destination Positioning 2.0 Overall Environment 4.0 Destination Icons SØNDERHO SEAL BANKS OYSTER BEDS BEACHES (ESPECIALLY) RINDBY STRAND BUNKERS KITES CULTURE NATURE Outdoor Activities 3.5 Serviced Accommodation 2.0 Caravan / Camping 3.5 Self Serviced (cottages / houseboats) 5.0 Heritage / Cultural Attractions 4.0 Family Leisure/Theme Attractions 1.5 Sports Facilities for tourists 1.5 Entertainment of all types 1.5 Interpretation of local heritage 2.0 Art / Craft galleries and workshops 4.0 Well-Being facilities and services 1.5 Natural Features 4.0 Wildlife Attractions 3.0 Events/Festivals 4.0 Stevens & Associates 2006/ Stevens View Partnership,

21 A simple method of scoring the strengths and weaknesses of tourism in a destination Services Infrastructure Eateries (Dining Out) 3.0 Access to the Destination 4.0 Tourist Information Centres 2.0 Public Transport within Destination 1.5 Access to Local Food / Drink 4.0 Access to Countryside 4.0 Customer Care in tourist places 2.0 Public Amenities (toilets, parks, gardens) 3.0 Specialist Retail 3.0 Aesthetics of Towns / Villages 4.0 General Retail 4.0 Tourist Signposting 2.0 Guides / Tour Leaders 3.5 Viewpoints / Lay-bys 2.5 General Welcome 3.0 Cleanliness / Litter 3.5 Other (state): Wet weather facilities and provision 1.0 Opening hours 2.0 Road signs 3.5 Car parking On Island 4.0 Car parking at ferry off Island 1.5 Ferry Ticket Office/reception

22 Fanø A Danish Island... Naturally The Future of Tourism

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