Absolut Home received the internationally prized honor of Europe’s Leading Vodka Distillery Tour 2022 at the 29th annual World Travel Awards, acknowledging excellence in the travel industry worldwide. We had a chat with Frida Trieb, Sales & Marketing Manager, and Kenneth Hoffström, Site Manager, at Absolut Home, about what makes a great distillery tour, what this award means, and what’s next for the Absolut Brand Home.
Congratulations on being awarded Europe’s Leading Vodka Distillery Tour! In what ways will this award affect and benefit Absolut Home?
It’s a recognition that allows us to reach a much wider and international audience, and it offers us a more impactful narrative when it comes to communicating who we are, says Kenneth.
Tell us about the process of being nominated for the award.
We were nominated at the beginning of this summer but were so busy with our operations that we actually didn’t have the chance to properly spread the word throughout our network. So, it came as a big surprise to us that we won the award! Kenneth admits.
What is the key to a successful distillery tour? What makes the Absolut Home tour stand out?
Our tours have a nice mix of fun interactive elements, information, and a genuine sense of community. Our guides also make the experience personal, engaging, and stimulating. I think it is the combination that makes our tours so wonderful and what sets them apart, says Frida.
Can you share some visitor feedback from your award-winning tours?
Many visitors have told us that the tour has been both professional and exciting and that the guides have excellent knowledge and are able to answer all their questions. In addition, we notice great interactions between our guests and guides. They explore different rooms, have the space to interact, and create a unique time together. At the end of the tours, the visitors are invited to make their own cocktails or alcohol-free drinks, which is usually mentioned as something extra special in the reviews, Frida says.
What does the collaboration between the different Brand Home Destinations within the Pernod Ricard Group look like? In what ways do you share best practices, inspire, and learn from each other?
The entire Pernod Ricard Brand Home community meets regularly to share knowledge and inspiration, which offers a sense of belonging to us since we’re the only Brand Home located in Sweden. We support each other, help one another, and uphold standards and guidelines developed within the group. We share best practices, how to treat our employees respectfully, and agree on benefits such as employee discounts, etc., Kenneth points out.
Are you working with any other tourist attractions in the region?
We collaborate with many hotels and tourist attractions in the region. For example, since we can’t offer accommodations, and the local hotels need to provide experiences to their guests, we are working in collaboration to make visits to Åhus more memorable. It’s a win-win situation, says Kenneth. We started talking to Wanås Castle before the pandemic. They have accommodations and art exhibitions, and we both attract visitors. It would be a great fit to join forces as two interesting destinations in the area.
We are also cooperating with Kristianstad Municipality amongst other local stakeholders to promote the region, Frida says. They encourage visits to Absolut Home, and it is our ambition to make sure everyone has a great time with us.
Have you noticed a change in tourism patterns and/or behaviors post-pandemic?
Yes, we have. The number of visitors is lower now than during the pandemic. The whole industry has slowed down after two years of strong summers. And there are several theories as to why. One reason could be that many Swedes had a desire to travel abroad after restrictions were lifted. Another reason might be that we are facing inflation in society overall. People are more careful with spending, and as a result, they might not travel as much, Kenneth suggests.
Åhus is a summer town, but we are actively working on prolonging the season. During the Holidays, we have a special event where we open our outdoor bar and hold a Christmas fair. Our Christmas lunches and dinners are very popular and are often accompanied by a tour, Frida fills in.
What’s on the horizon for Absolut Home?
We’re currently exploring more tours, events, and exhibitions. In addition, we are planning guest appearances by both bartenders and chefs. We’re also looking into collaborating with the Skåne Regional Museum, which will show the Fashion Cocktail exhibition during spring 2023, previously held at Spritmuseum in Stockholm. Internally we’re making efforts to communicate about our offers in a clear and straightforward way. There are a lot of exciting things happening this year, and our hope and aim are that they will be seen, heard, and received well! Frida says.