The role of Unique Attractions in the Hyper Competitive Market of World Tourism

by Jörgen Eriksson on November 30, 2013

KrapinaThe tourism industry has grown quickly in the last three decades. The number of tourists visiting other countries has tripled. As the industry grows, its economic importance increases in many countries.

Tourism has a unique relationship with regional development because unlike most industries, consumers travel to the product, leading to greater awareness and interaction, and tourists can, if well managed, become both business partners, investors and residents.

Although tourism can not be the main industrial sector to develop prosperity, everyone interacting with a place is a visitor to start with. Tourists can have negative impacts on the environments and cultures they visit, but well managed tourism can contribute to poverty alleviation and economic development, and not the least engage potential investors and business partners, and maybe even attract new residents.

However in todays hyper competitive global markets for tourists, new visitors in large numbers can only be attracted by unique attractions.

Last week I visited one such unique attraction that I think is not yet well known. I visited Krapina, a Croatian town of about 4.500 people which is 60 kilometers from Zagreb on the border to Slovenia. There a museum has been built to show a unique historic asset.

Neanderthal familyKrapina was the site of a  Neanderthal settlement which is unique in the world for its number of archaeological findings. Now it has a dedicated state-of-the-art Neanderthal museum.

Neanderthals are the magical and mystical ancestors of the European people, since long time extinct. They were closely related to modern humans,differing in DNA by only 0.3%, just twice the variability across contemporary humans. Remains left by Neanderthals include bones and stone tools, which are found from western Europe to central Asia.

The species is named after Neandertal (“Neander Valley”), the location in Germany where it was first discovered. The exact date of their extinction is disputed. Fossils found in Croatia have been dated to between 33,000 and 32,000 years old.

Neanderthal museum entranceThe Museum of Krapina Neanderthals with its interactive exhibits is an exceptional experience to visit. It  covers a surface area of around 1,200 m² and is one of the most modern museums in Croatia and central Europe, and it will keep you and your children busy for a full day of discovery.

Inside the museum’s main entrance the experience begins with a specially filmed re-enactment of daily life of a Neanderthal family. Then follows an extensive segment on evolution, from the creation of earth to modern man, making it one of the most interesting evolutionary museums in Europe. It is surrounded by a mountainous park with many statues of Neanderthals and their game, including a bear, a moose and a beaver set in the actual locations.

No family visiting Zagreb should miss doing a day trip to this unique attraction. Also, if you are traveling from Graz to the Adriatic, you can leave the highway at Krapina for a nice break. Below is a video about the museum.

The Museum of Krapina Neanderthals

About Jörgen Eriksson :

Jörgen Eriksson is the founder of Bearing and is the Chairman of the firm since it was created. He has successfully expanded Bearing into covering projects on four continents. He is also Adjunct Professor of Innovation Management at the International University of Monaco and at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona and he is an active member of the Founders Alliance organisation.

Working with consulting engagements across Bearings practices, he has over the past fifteen years participated in and supervised a large number of client projects, from innovation system development and place development and branding, to merger and acquisition assignments and leading edge research and business development activities for key clients.

His new book, Branding for Hooligans, will be published in 2015. It is about how innovation and branding are key survival factors in our modern times of hyper competitive markets.

Prior to Bearing, he was Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Trema Treasury Management, a technology and consulting services provider, supplying financial software solutions for the global financial industry, Clients included The European Central Bank, Citibank, SEB, South African reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), as well as many other large financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Early in his career Eriksson was educated at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he studied economics, financial economics and philosophy. He then worked in Scandinavian investment banks and also for the Swedish Institute of National Defense Research.

You can contact Jörgen on e-mail, connect on LinkedIn onörgen-eriksson/0/38/8a0/ and follow him on twitter on joreri508.

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