Reimagining tourism with innovation, creativity and codebreaker-thinking

Even before the crisis, Göteborg & Co embarked on a curious journey together with Group NAO to explore some of the most inspirational ideas for better tourism in cities around the world. On, this catalogue, we present 101 ideas – as an inspirational foundation for the rebuilding ahead, as a reminder that we should not simply rush “back to normal” but strive to build back based on the best of ideas, and as a start to keep sharing inspiration and ideas for how to reimagine tourism with positive economic, environmental, social and cultural impact on our local communities and shared planet.

The 101 ideas are not ours to begin with – they are the ideas of social entrepreneurs, innovative business founders, visionary codebreakers and imaginary doers driven by a strong sense of purpose and passion to make a difference. The ideas have been found through months of curious exploration in the global eco-system of urban tourism, hospitality, travel and a little beyond.

The aim is not only to demonstrate the point that innovation and creativity is needed if we are to rethink travel and tourism to a more sustainable future, but also to high-light how and where it is done in practice in the cities of the world (and a little beyond the cities as well). The diversity and out-of-the-box thinking illustrated by all these ventures both impress and inspire by their sharp simplicity, strong sense of localhood and desire to give back to the community and the people who live there.

In our research, we have been looking especially for ideas that relate to city life and urban tourism with a high degree of innovation and creativity in idea and execution.  The ideas relate to travel and tourism, but tourism in a broad sense – considering the visitor eco-system of urban destinations and in some cases also approaching ideas that encourage tourism as a resource for other, more sustainable purposes. All the ideas have been categorised across one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In the launch of 101 sustainable ideas, we don’t claim to have found all the best examples in the world, nor that the ideas selected are representative of all tourism innovation or an exhaustive list of sustainable business models for tourism out there. Our search has been driven by the power of inspiration, fueled by the need to reimagine tourism in more regenerative ways, where tourism becomes a resource to build back better, to build thriving communities, and to push forward a global fight against climate change and take part in building local and global resilience.

The ideas are big and small, strategic and scaleable, commercial and non-for-profit, tech and analogue. The idea owners are similarly diverse, and we hope that this will also target a very diverse group. Because we need diversity, different perspectives and continuous challenge to our ways of thinking to address and solve the issues facing today’s and tomorrow’s world.

The inspirational and curious journey doesn’t stop with these 101 ideas. They are, in fact, just the beginning. We hope, you will join us in sharing your ideas, your inspiration – because in doing so, you will be part of planting the seeds to grow us back stronger, better and more resilient than before.

We started with 101 ideas, as 101 is often used to refer to the introduction – the starting level. This is the start – help us make it the future! Go explore the first ideas and nominate new ideas to share the inspiration further here:

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