Corona has completely turned the tourism sector upside down. While residents enjoy the new tranquility in the city, entrepreneurs sound the alarm. In the meantime, this break also creates opportunities for new forms of sustainable tourism that benefit more people. We now have time to work on tourism 2.0, before and after the lockdown. To investigate these opportunities, the Urban Leisure and Tourism Lab organised the Hackaton Reinvent Tourism in May 2020.
New balance sheet
No more long queues for museums, no teeming crowds on the canals and no more congestion in the narrow streets of the city centre. But also no income from all those money-spending tourists. How do we rebalance the tourism sector with what the city wants and needs? As part of the Reinvent Tourism Festival, a group of hackers sank their teeth into the future of the Amsterdam tourist sector in May 2020. What can we do to make leisure activities close to home attractive and how can we make its impact more positive, even in the post-corona era?
In this CGE project, two multidisciplinary student teams quickly developed plans on how to proceed with tourism in the city. Participants were challenged to come up with creative and sustainable solutions for ‘destination Amsterdam’. Coached by the lab, they investigated the opportunities offered by the new situation to bring the tourist to other places and thoughts. In the two sprints, a plan was born to help the hotels through the crisis with a safe, attractive program for visitors, which immediately benefits the rest of the city. With original programs for the culture lover, the ‘bon vivant’, the sports enthusiast and the active, the hackers want to show the other, less visited side of Amsterdam.
How about a tour in an empty Arena or Ziggo Dome? An escape room in the closed gates of Schiphol? Or a marathon on the runway of the airport? Or a visit to a drive-in cinema rigged in collaboration with the city’s cinemas? With breakfast from the local bakery and wine tasting in the hotel room? This gives Amsterdammers an original, unusual outing in their own city, which can also be of interest to visitors from outside. The idea is to get the plans off the ground together with local entrepreneurs and stakeholders. For this reason, Luca von Prittwitz, student International Tourism Management and co-organizer of the Hackaton, pitched the results to deputy mayor Alderman Victori Everhardt. In the Fair Tourism live-cast of the lab and Pakhuis de Zwijger he said that he was inspired by the plans.