Professor Heather Hartwell
This project offered the opportunity for connecting different destination stakeholders, with the specific aim of facilitating innovation in healthy lifestyle products while contributing to a competitive local tourism economy. Through inter-stakeholder dialogue, tourism businesses were enabled to increase their marketing effectiveness, and develop new products and services that would provide an enhanced value-added experience for visitors. The project gave tourism businesses an improved understanding of wellbeing and the confidence to implement this direction within their marketing schema. A final report and project film is available on Destination FeelGood web site.
Five outputs were proposed and achieved;
- Wellbeing Destination Knowledge Networks and Ideas Café
A network of local businesses, recruited through the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) met six times through 2014-15 at sessions referred to as ‘Ideas Cafés’. The sessions were run in Bournemouth, Dorchester and Salisbury and each was facilitated by Bournemouth University and NCTA staff. The sessions incorporated guest speakers who spoke on aspects of wellbeing and they also allowed for networking and mentoring activity. The sessions were:
- Marketing and Product Opportunities in Health and Wellbeing
- Food, Innovation and Legislation
- Healthy Staff, Healthy Profit
- Facilitating Student and Employer Engagement
The project involved Bournemouth University students, across the spectrum of tourism, media and hospitality in various aspects, from consultancy projects to dissemination activity. The aim was to enhance the students’ learning experience, providing them with opportunities to be involved in real life consultancy work.
- Wellbeing Hub – Destination FeelGood
Using a bespoke web presence within Bournemouth University and the NCTA, a dissemination platform was designed to act as a resource for business and other interested stakeholders to communicate and engage in active dialogue. Emphasis was on the exchange of knowledge in a manner that sets the foundations for a longer-term self-sustaining network based on ‘Destination Wellness’.
- Innovation Sharing
A series of podcasts were developed and disseminated (hosted permanently on the web site) which both capture the information from the ideas cafés and also showcase three case studies of learning and good practice.
A tracking study was also commissioned to evaluate the extent to which knowledge exchange has taken place. The Bournemouth University Market Research Group is undertaking this study, evaluating activity pre and post project. The final report will be published on the Wellbeing web site in September 2015, identifying opportunities and potential barriers to a wellbeing market position.
- Spin off to local residents/employees – local community
Key actors from the local community such as public health consultants and relevant NGOs including Active Dorset have been kept abreast of project developments and they form an important conduit to the local community. On a wider scale, other interested stakeholders such as the Royal Society for Public Health and Visit Britain will have a further opportunity to hear more about the project’s success and to discuss ways to take it forward, at a celebration and dissemination event to mark the official project end on 24th September 2015.
Findings taking forward
The web site will serve as the primary vehicle for the dissemination of research-informed materials and allows for networking across all user groups via its social media channels. Through its role as the central source of dissemination for all events and related activity, a proactive strategy of engagement for SMEs with the web page has been implemented and statistics of traffic are presented in the final project report.
Qualitative comment received at all events and network meetings has been captured to ensure the relevance and timeliness of the academic research taking place. Although a proposal with a strong local orientation, the data captured will inform the development of future academic outputs derived with user organisation consent, and provide evidence to support future policy and advice locally and nationally while enhancing further the reputation of BU academics in the wider Tourism domain. We have been successful in securing HEIF funding for 2016 which will enable extension of the project as a platform to disseminate novel solutions to current health challenges. The project will also feature in the ESRC ‘Festival of Social Science’ 2016. This activity will involve working with a group of children from a local primary school to understand their emotional and sensory connections with the coast.
If you would like more information about this case study, please contact:
Professor Heather Hartwell
Foodservice and Applied Nutrition Research Group &
Health and Wellbeing
Honorary Editor: Perspectives in Public Health http://rsh.sagepub.com
Faculty of Management
Bournemouth University, BH12 5BB
Tel: 01202 961712