Swe­den's Sus­tain­able Suc­cess Story

EME Outlook - - Contents -

In 2017, Malmö Turism be­came the first Swedish tourism or­gan­i­sa­tion to achieve ISO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion 20121; an ac­cred­i­ta­tion that not only af­firms the en­tity’s cre­den­tials but that af­firm the wider city’s on­go­ing and un­wa­ver­ing ded­i­ca­tion to sus­tain­abil­ity.

As part of the city’s goal, Malmö Turism has been sys­tem­at­i­cally work­ing with the no­tion of sus­tain­abil­ity for a num­ber of years lead­ing up to the early-2017

prov­ing con­sis­tently that it is look­ing to im­prove the re­gion in a so­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble way, while sim­i­larly en­cour­ag­ing part­ners to do the same.

A key driv­ing force within this strat­egy was Malmö Con­ven­tion Bureau. In­cept­ing in 1999, it is the city’s of­fi­cial and pub­lic tourism or­gan­i­sa­tion fo­cus­ing on leisure travel, busi­ness travel, meet­ings, con­fer­ences, con­gresses and events. And few bod­ies have been in­stru­men­tal in fa­cil­i­tat­ing Malmö’s sus­tain­able growth in re­cent times.

“Malmö Con­ven­tion Bureau acts as a neu­tral part­ner dur­ing the ar­range­ment and host­ing of a congress or event in Malmö,” in­tro­duces Project Man­ager, Camilla Ek­berg. “We open doors on your be­half and our ex­per­tise, con­tacts and ser­vices are free of charge. This all en­sures that you get a suc­cess­ful event in Malmö.”

Malmö Con­ven­tion Bureau works closely with in­dus­try part­ners to pro­mote Malmö and “it is to­gether with them that we best can show

Malmö’s pos­si­bil­i­ties”, Ek­berg con­tin­ues. “Malmö is the third largest city in Swe­den and the home to more than 320,000 peo­ple with roots in more 174 coun­tries, speak­ing 150 dif­fer­ent lan­guages.

“To all, we in Malmö want to of­fer a cosy and vi­brant at­mos­phere with world-class, mod­ern and unique venues, are­nas and fa­cil­i­ties.” EME Out­look (EME): Since in­cep­tion, how has the Malmö Con­ven­tion Bureau de­vel­oped and

in terms of its key ob­jec­tives and the mes­sages it tries to get across?

Camilla Ek­berg (CE): Our fo­cus is more on the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket now then it was in the be­gin­ning, while in­ter­nally we have also grown sig­nif­i­cantly in terms of em­ployee num­bers. We now have a stronger fo­cus on in­sti­tu­tions like Malmö Univer­sity and Lund Univer­sity to gen­er­ate a strong fo­cus on sci­en­tific con­gresses es­pe­cially.

Above all though, our strong­est fo­cus re­mains on sus­tain­abil­ity, both in terms of ac­quir­ing meet­ings along this theme, but also through prac­ti­cal things like elim­i­nat­ing give­aways and printed ma­te­ri­als, and mak­ing pub­lic trans­porta­tion more ef­fi­cient. This all con­trib­uted to Malmö Turism re­ceiv­ing ISO 20121cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in 2017. EME: To this end, how would you say Malmö has de­vel­oped in re­cent years as a busi­ness travel hub and what are the key rea­sons be­hind its grow­ing ap­peal?

"To all, we un Malmo want to of­fer a cosy and vi­brant at­mos­phere with world-class, mod­ern and unique venues, are­nas and fa­cil­i­ties."

CE: Malmö has trans­formed from an in­dus­trial city into a young, vi­brant, dy­namic and knowl­edge-based city. The pop­u­la­tion now has an av­er­age age of less than 35 years. Im­por­tant fac­tors to this trans­for­ma­tion in­clude the Ore­sund Bridge which con­nects Swe­den with Den­mark, and the open­ing of Malm5 Univer­sity. Hav­ing Copen­hagen air­port just 12 min­utes away on the train makes Malmo easy to reach from all around the world. In­fra­struc­ture has also been a key fac­tor through projects like Hyl­lie, and var­i­ous meet­ings and events hosted at Malmo Arena, Malmi­imas­san Ex­hi­bi­tion & Congress Cen­tre, and two ho­tels. The open­ing of Clar­ion Ho­tel & Congress Malmo Live - both lo­cated right in the city cen­tre - have also con­trib­uted to the grow­ing in­ter­na­tional meet­ing in­dus­try of Malmo and dur­ing the course of three years we have in­creased over­all ho­tel ca­pac­ity by 25 per­cent. EME: Tak­ing a more gen­eral in­dus­try stance, how would you eval­u­ate the tourism sec­tor in Malmo!, now com­pared to Its con­di­tion when the Con­ven­tion Bureau be­gan: CE: Since The Ore­sund Bridge opened (in z000) tourism to Malmo has in­creased a lot, both when it comes to overnight stays and day vis­i­tors. The tourism turnover has de­vel­oped in a pos­i­tive way for Malmo. Since z000, sev­eral new venues, are­nas, congress hall and ho­tels have opened in Malmo. We have no­ticed a higher de­mand for city tourism and have seen a higher num­ber of in­ter­na­tional meet­ings and con­gresses, vis­i­tors, tourists and events grace the city.

The tourism in­dus­try in gen­eral of­fers more sus­tain­able prod­ucts and ser­vices and sev­eral of our part­ners are work­ing within the con­fines of CSR as we know that sus­tain­abil­ity is be­com­ing an im­por­tant fac­tor in the choice of lo­ca­tions for con­ven­tions and in­ter­na­tional cor­po­rate meet­ings.

EME: What is in store for Malmö over the course of 2018 and be­yond to con­tinue the good work al­ready com­menced and to en­hance its rep­u­ta­tion as a tourism and busi­ness travel hub fur­ther in the fu­ture?

CE: 2017 events in­cluded Nordic Game, Nordea Masters, World Wind En­ergy Con­fer­ence, 8th Euro­pean Sym­po­sium on Plant Lipids, 6th FFN Global Congress 2017, Dreamhack Masters, Near Sur­face Geo­science Con­fer­ence & Ex­hi­bi­tion 2017, Nordic Life Science Days, Euro­pean So­ci­ety of Neu­ro­ra­di­ol­ogy, Ur­ban Green In­fra­struc­ture – Con­nect­ing Peo­ple, and Na­ture for Sus­tain­able Cities. Mean­while, in 2018, up­com­ing events in­clude Parabere Fo­rum 2018, Clean En­ergy Min­is­te­rial 2018 Malmø/copen­hagen, 36th An­nual Meet­ing – ESPID, Fehmarn­belt Days 2018, Euro­pean Cities Mar­ket­ing In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence & Gen­eral As­sem­bly 2018, In­ter­na­tional Congress of Group Psy­chother­apy, and The Euro­pean Sport Man­age­ment Con­fer­ence 2018.

In terms of new fa­cil­i­ties, the new qual­ity ho­tel, The Mill will open in 2019, as will Stayat. Mean­while, Malmö Arena Ho­tel is build­ing a new con­fer­ence cen­tre and adding 100 ho­tel rooms.

Busi­ness-wise IKEA will open their own ho­tel in Malmö -Hyl­lie, where IKEA´S head of­fice, IKANO Bank and IKANO real es­tate is lo­cated.

And fi­nally, from a tourism per­spec­tive, Malmö now of­fers a num­ber of In­fo­points that pro­vide ba­sic tourist in­for­ma­tion for vis­i­tors in the form of brochures, maps and other in­for­ma­tion. We use so­cial me­dia to com­mu­ni­cate with our vis­i­tors and tourists hav­ing closed down the tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre in 2017.

EME: Fi­nally, look­ing for­ward, what progress and devel­op­ment do you hope and ex­pect to see, both in re­gards to the Malmö Con­ven­tion Bureau as an en­tity, and in re­gards to the busi­ness travel in­dus­try in Malmö as a whole?

CE:

In the com­ing years, the Con­ven­tion Bureau will have hope­fully grown in em­ployee num­bers; we will be higher up the ICCA and Gds-in­dex rank­ings; we will have even higher ho­tel oc­cu­pancy in the city; we will en­joy even stronger col­lab­o­ra­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity with Copen­hagen; and most im­por­tantly, Malmö will have be­come even more sus­tain­able and at­trac­tive as a des­ti­na­tion for meet­ings, events and tourism.

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