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The winning consortium to run the X-Nordic Travel Contest is Group NAO in association with Happy 42 and Design Nation.

The project will be led by Group NAO, an innovative strategy agency working for sustainable transformation in global travel and tourism. Group NAO does this through destination strategy development, tourism innovation programs, participatory design, and community engagement, as well as through large international industry events on new agendas within sustainable tourism and travel. To unfold the full potential of the project, Group NAO will be working closely with Happy42 and Design Nation in developing solution camps, design sprints and test beds.

“We are very excited to onboard this mission with Nordic Innovation to collaborate across the Nordics in changing tourism and travel for the better and long-term – fueled by market-driven innovation. The program starts by pinpointing the biggest challenges and opportunities ahead, then inviting sustainable solutions development; we hope and expect that this will lead to highly relevant and needed solutions in Nordic destinations and beyond, and we can’t wait to unfold this potential together with the tourism and innovation ecosystems of the Nordic countries”, says Signe Jungersted, CEO and founder of Group NAO.

A groundbreaking initiative for a sustainable Nordic tourism industry

The project consists of four phases:

The first phase aims at identifying the opportunities for strengthening the sustainability and competitiveness of the Nordic tourism industry. Six workshops across the Nordic region will be conducted. The outcome will be boiled down to three opportunities that the project will focus on.

The second phase aims at developing solutions addressing the identified Nordic opportunities. This process will include different tools and methods that we assess to be best suited.

The third phase aims at testing the created solutions. This will take place across the region in different testbeds.

The last phase aims at promoting the sustainable solutions created and create business and export potentials.

”This is a groundbreaking and extensive Nordic co-operation initiative that focuses on identifying the most burning issues hampering a more sustainable Nordic tourism industry, developing new Nordic solutions, testing them in different parts of the region and promoting the tested solutions and business models. As this project encompasses the whole process from identifying opportunities to marketing the solution, we intend to strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of the Nordic tourism industry”, says Thordur Reynisson, Senior Advisor at Nordic Innovation.

The X-Nordic Travel Contest will run until the end of 2024.


The project is a part of Nordic Innovation’s Tourism in the Nordics initiative, which aims to facilitate Nordic cooperation on innovation in the tourism industry, and to contribute to a more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable region.

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