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‘When does Innovation
happen in tourism?’

Cross-border Think Tank on 
Tourism & Innovation

June 13th 2019, Canterbury, Kent (UK)

Watch the reactions from our 2 seas tourism experts following the first PROFIT Think Tank

Tourism is an important economic sector in the coastal regions of Kent, Essex, Pas-de-Calais, the Belgian Coast and Zeeland. Partners from these five regions have been closely cooperating in the Interreg 2 Seas project PROFIT, to create the optimal conditions for innovation in tourism SMEs.

Many regions are looking for the best practices that will help their SMEs innovate and grow. Within PROFIT, the project partners have developed an extensive training and coaching programme. This has provided SMEs with the chance to participate in masterclasses , benefit from customised coaching sessions and has seen the very best end up with bespoke innovation plans . Our teams of experts have helped them focus in on specific issues that can make a difference.

The PROFIT project successfully hosted a Cross Border Think Tank on 'Tourism & Innovation', bringing experts from all 5 regions to Canterbury (UK).   to shed light on their findings and approaches that they have discussed with SMEs in each region that have the potential to drive innovation in tourism. The Think Tank will be an opportunity for all participants to share their expertise and contribute to building a unique picture of tourism innovation in the 2 Seas region.

12 key conclusions

  1. Changing the strategy to ‘what does the visitor want to buy’ not ‘what do we want to sell to the visitor’
  2. Leadership is encouraging, coaching and developing your team. Challenge the status quo.
  3. Innovation is not ‘Business as usual.’ What will you do differently?
  4. Millennials want to travel with a purpose so using customer insight is vital in getting the approach right
  5. People don’t want to sightsee any more they want to sightdo! They want to get involved and not just witness
  6. The best way to get insights is to talk to customers direct
  7. Develop two versions of a product for good and bad weather (in Ireland there’s no such thing as bad weather just bad packing)
  8. Millennials will apply for a job if they connect with your brand. Working with universities is a proven way of getting young people into the industry
  9. What is the business offering to the millennial employee? Businesses must value their staff
  10. Use Google to find out what people are asking about you
  11. Collaboration only works if partners all benefit; time and energy are as necessary as money
  12. Define why you undertake a process, then how you implement and finally what

And the quote of the day is linked to the comment that 80% of plans fail due to lack of follow up: (Mike Tyson) “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Presentations and videos

Deirdre Wells OBE
Visit Kent

PROFIT: Putting the visitor first in Kent 






Joss Croft

Keynote address "Leadership & Innovation in tourism

 An innovative experience

Lisa Bone
Visit Essex

PROFIT 4 Lessons Learnt


Interactive discussions


How to help SMEs develop products & services based on customer needs? - Kris Leys

Kris Leys

How to help SMEs develop products & services based on customer needs?




How to attract Millennials to work in the hospitality industry?



How to see what everybody does & do what nobody does in digital marketing?

How does collaboration assist with tourism innovation?


 View photo album



Event location

Canterbury Cathedral LodgeCanterbury Cathedral Lodge
Canterbury Cathedral
The Precincts
Canterbury, Kent
United Kingdom