This is an archived press release
Thursday 12 May 2005
12 May 2005
BESST hosts Scandinavian business exchange
Businesses in the Peak District have taken part in hosting an international exchange visit that saw them swapping ideas and inspirations with businesses from Sweden and Norway.
Organised by the international BESST project (Business and Environment linked through Small Scale Tourism), led by the Peak District National Park Authority, more than 30 people came together to share their experiences in rural tourism.
They included Scandinavian fish farmers, spring water bottlers, and angling holiday
providers and Peak District holiday accommodation providers, crafts people and food producers.
Highlights of the five-day visit included staying in traditional farmhouses and stone cottages, eating locally-produced food in traditional recipes at Ilam Hall Youth Hostel, Hartington Hall Youth Hostel and Tissington Hall, cycling on the Tissington Trail and visiting the Costume Museum at Alstonefield.
Greg Potter, who runs Rivendale caravan and leisure park at Alsop-en-le-Dale in the Peak District, said: “When you’re involved in running a business it can be tricky to step back and take look at what you’re doing and how you could improve. The BESST project’s business exchange gives you that chance and brings businesses together to help and inspire each other. I will be looking to extend the range of services I can offer my customers to make a more complete holiday package.”
Norwegian businessman Lars Bunæs of Telemark Water, who bottles spring water in Fyresdal, said: “We are planning to develop our business and it has been very useful to come to the Peak District and be able to discuss ideas for making and marketing new products with experienced businesses that we won’t be in competition with. We met the Thornbridge microbrewery and are considering developing our own brewery based on our mountain springs.”
Husband and wife Swedish business team Susanne and Kjell-Åke (pronounced Shell Ocka) Källén, Sågknorren, who have a farm tourism business, said: “Coming to the Peak District has been really refreshing to see how other people work and how they solve their problems. You can always learn something new. At home in Sweden, we are developing horse riding breaks working with other businesses to create holidays for people to enjoy. Peak District businesses could do the same for cycling or horse riding experiences too.”
The aim of the visit was to bring family-based businesses together to experience other ways of working, to learn from each other and inspire new ideas for new tourism offers all based on taking care of what is special in their local environments and cultures.