We have finally set up camp. Not only that, I have committed to start in a new position as the social marketing guy at destinationen. It’s the perfect crime – doing what I love and getting paid for it. What’s more, the product I’m selling is the island I love – Bornholm.
Bornholm has had a tough time ever since the primary industry, fishery, shut down during the 80s. Several other major work places are now gone, tilemaking closed, agriculture has become machine run. The population peaked at fifty some thousand after WW2, but is now around 43000 and diving.
Tourism accounts for just shy of 9% of the local economy and unemployment fluctuates wildly between winter and summer when most of the temp jobs are available.
Tourism, and its derived effects, is now one of the main job creators. Boosting tourism and attracting visitors is therefore one of the best ways of making the local economy grow organically. I’m proud to be a part of this mission, and I draw huge motivation from it.
What else could be done to boost Bornholm?
Take a look at the swedish island of Gottland. The Swedes have a better understanding of what it takes to sustain the outer rims of their country. Massive subsidies of transportation, mainly ferries, placement of higher education institutions have made it more attractive for businesses to settle and for high school graduates to stay put.
Sure help from parliament would be instrumental, but as they say, change starts from within. I’m going to work on April 4th.