Gothenburg is the most hospitable city in Europe! Christina Bonnevier from Gothenburg Tourist Centre, which is part of Göteborg & Co, recently accepted the ECM TIC Hostmanship Award 2019 in Ghent, Belgium. The award recognises that she is the best in Europe at greeting visitors.
“I think this competition is brilliant because it focuses on emotional human values in our encounters with visitors. It feels absolutely fantastic and it’s a great honour to win,” says Christina Bonnevier.
Christina was nominated for the award by her manager, Annelie Karlsson. In her nomination, Annelie Karlsson stressed that working in a tourist centre is a way of life and makes you more aware of what is happening in the city and who comes to visit it. The most significant encounters do not always happen in the tourist centre itself. One such encounter took place in Heden car park one morning, and also played a part in Christina’s nomination.
“I met a foreign family who were here on a visit, and they did not have a credit card that would work in the ticket machine. They were on their way to a meeting and were very short of time. I offered to pay their half-day ticket, but they were reluctant as they wanted to pay me back as soon as possible. I told them they could come to the tourist centre and ask for me, which they did later that day. They were very grateful and relieved,” says Christina.
As well as being the best tourist adviser in Europe, Christina Bonnevier is also an authorised city guide and speaks five languages fluently: Swedish, Danish, English, Spanish and French. Her job also involves authorising city guides and assisting with the city’s tourism site, goteborg.com.
Göteborg & Co invests in personal service by operating the city’s tourist centres, which welcome around 400,000 visitors each year. The company also invests in the website, goteborg.com, which is growing steadily and attracts almost three million unique visitors annually. Good hospitality involves a combination of digital tools and human encounters, which together ensure the best possible results. As a result of good hostmanship these visitors become valuable ambassadors for Gothenburg.
The TIC Hostmanship Award is presented by the ECM European Cities Marketing organisation, which is made up of members from European tourism organisations. To win the award as Europe’s best tourist adviser, a nomination is first required from one’s manager, and the winner is then selected by the management of TIC Expert Group, which is made up of representatives from ten cities. The award was presented in Ghent on October 24, and Christina Bonnevier was there to receive it.