The Blue Lagoon attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year

PhD student scoops prestigious European award

Einar Svansson, a University of Exeter Business School student, has won a prestigious European award for research he conducted about the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

Einar was presented with the Best Paper award at the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) European conference in Lausanne.

The Blue Lagoon is a famous tourist destination in Iceland, with eighty per cent of inbound travellers visiting it. This equates to more than 400,000 visitors each year. Einar’s winning paper investigated how its customers are cooperating closely with the staff at the resort to develop new products and services. The customers fall into two categories; the first users were psoriasis skin patients using the lagoon water to help heal their irritated skin, the second group are health tourists which helped it to become one of the biggest public spa resorts in the world. The research that Einar conducted is perhaps one of the first examples of using data to highlight the importance of ‘open innovation’ in the leisure industry.

Einar commented ‘I was completely taken by surprise when the announcement came that I had won the award. Now it has sunk in, I am really delighted for myself and for the Business School to be recognised in this way. I hope to continue my research in this area and undertake more studies of the Blue Lagoon.’

The Business School is well known for its research in the leisure sector and has its own Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism research funded by an ESRC capacity building cluster grant. For more information, please visit the Sport, Leisure and Tourism website.

Date: 19 April 2011

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