Program industry day

Food & Travel


Heidi is Norway’s first female Michelin chef, and today she runs the food triangle consisting of Credo Restaurant, Jossa food and drinks, and Edoramen in Lilleby, Trondheim. In 2015, she was named Chef of the Year, and in 2017, she received both the Ingrid Prize and the Food Prize for her commitment to better food and agriculture. In 2019, she was honored as Chef’s Chef.

Heidi has established the Credo Competence Center. After more than 30 years as a chef and a culinary ambassador, she has observed a shift in knowledge and understanding, recognizing that society must make the right choices for itself and others. Learn more about how Heidi and the Credo Competence Center are addressing the significant climate challenges we face.

JON AGA – Utne hotel

The food artist Jon Aga has, for many years, put the Helgeland Coast on the culinary map through flavors based on local ingredients served at Vega Havhotell. The original ‘harding’ has returned home to Hardanger and is now putting Hardanger on the same exclusive food map as the host and chef at Utne Hotel. He will be a guest at TravelXpo, sharing his message on how food is used to market businesses, such as Utne Hotel, to attract travelers. Jon believes that food quality, local culture, and history are particularly important for hotels and restaurants that are off the beaten path. Jon will share the recipe for successfully putting a business on the food map and then meeting guests’ expectations for the very best local food and drink experiences.


Bernt Bucher-Johannessen is a long-time entrepreneur in the food and travel industry. He holds a master’s degree in political science and history and has authored several books on food. He currently serves as the managing director of HANEN, the business organization for farm food, rural tourism, and inland fishing in Norway.

As the leader of HANEN, Bernt aims to ensure favorable conditions for the local-based rural tourism industry and calls for improved collaboration between agriculture and tourism.

MIKAEL FORSELIUS – 62 grader Nord

Mikael Forselius came from Sweden to Norway and Røros in 1995, holding several positions where he played a central role in developing Røros into one of Norway’s most attractive destinations. He spent some years as a head chef and Food & Beverage Manager at the then Rica Nidelven Hotel in Trondheim, which was crucial to the Rica chain’s “local food on the menu” project—a pioneering effort in promoting local cuisine. After another stint in Røros, this time as the director of the Røros Hotel group, Mikael was appointed in 2017 as the director of Britannia Hotel.

Under his leadership, Britannia Hotel has become a world-class destination with a Michelin star and Norway’s best breakfast.

Mikael has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including “Young Hotelier of the Year 2006,” Ingrid Espelid’s Food Culture Prize in 2016, and he is also designated as a Trøndelag Food Ambassador. He has authored four cookbooks where local food plays a central role.

After six years as the managing director of Britannia Hotel, he took over as the CEO of 62°NORD Hotels & Adventures a year ago. This group includes hotels such as Storfjord Hotel, Hotel Union Øye, and Brosundet Hotel, as well as the restaurants Apotekergata 5 and Sjøbua in Ålesund.

HEDDA FELIN – Hurtigruten

Hedda became the CEO of Hurtigruten in March 2021. Hurtigruten currently operates seven ships on the coastal route between Bergen and Kirkenes. Additionally, the company offers fully commercial sailings with MS Trollfjord along the Norwegian coast, extending up to Svalbard during the summer season. Starting from January 2024, the company will also operate MS Otto Sverdrup from Hamburg along the Norwegian coast. Currently, the company has well over 50 suppliers of local food and drinks along the coast, collaborates with local excursion providers, and hosts over 650,000 guest nights annually on its ships.

Hedda has held various executive positions for 15 years, including Head of CEO Office, SVP of UK Continental Shelf, and global executive roles in safety, sustainability, and operations. She has worked in Scandinavia, France, the United Kingdom, China, and Guinea. Hedda studied international politics and management at the renowned Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris in France and is fluent in French.



Morten is a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Agder.

With the ability to optimize travel routes, predict customer preferences, enhance collaboration across the value chain, and promote sustainable tourist destinations, AI positions the tourism industry to stay several steps ahead.

‘If you’re not keeping up with the artificial intelligence race, you’re falling behind.’ In the lecture, Morten Goodwin will delve into the current use of artificial intelligence in the tourism industry, with a special focus on sustainability, customer satisfaction, and marketing. He will also shed light on what we can expect in the coming years. How will AI shape the future of travel experiences, and what new challenges and opportunities will arise for small businesses? Join to ensure that your tourism business doesn’t get left in the dust of the AI revolution.


MARTIN JØRGENSEN – Nordic Traveltech Lab

Martin Jørgensen’s entrepreneurial track record includes investing in and managing many successful start-ups and established businesses in the hospitality and travel industries. Highlights include:Leader of a management buyout and later IPO of Via Travel Group, the largest corporate travel management company in Scandinavia, now owned by Expedia.Co-founder of etraveli, one of the world’s largest online travel agencies, successfully sold to major private equity investors.Owner and CEO of hotel commission processing and analytics company Net Trans Services, expanded from one office in Norway into a multinational market leader and sold to US private equity investor HIG CapitalCurrently investor and CEO in fast-growing digital diner feedback start-up Foodback.

PER ARNE FRIESTAD – Nordic Traveltech Lab

Per Arne Friestad joined the tourism industry in 2016, as CEO of a Norwegian Traveltech startup. He has previously worked with technology companies in the Nordic countries and Asia. Per Arne has a background in retail and technology and established a common trading platform for the sports industry in the Nordics. Today he is the CEO of Nordic Traveltech Lab AS.

Investor perspective


Bente has extensive experience in the Norwegian tourism industry. She has been the tourism director at Innovation Norway and the managing director at Visit Oslo.

DSD Explore has a new and ambitious approach to thinking about the development of tourism. Listen to more from Bente about how the event giant DSD Explore is investing in the tourism industry.



Tony Eide is the CEO and founder of the hotel chain Festningshotellene, which operates Oscarsborg Fortress, Reenskaug Hotel in Drøbak, Kongsvinger Fortress, and Torreby Castle in Sweden. He sees opportunities to create something unique and will now assess the profitability of establishing a hotel in the Tower Building at NMBU (Norwegian University of Life Sciences).

The tourism industry has clear sustainability goals and is now part of the government’s export initiative. Being represented in the center of research on sustainable food production, nutrition, and organic farming, among other things, would be incredibly exciting. The aligned ambitions between the industry and NMBU are evident in NMBU’s own education in nature-based tourism. This is a rare opportunity that we want to explore further.



Anders Buchardt (49) owns AB Invest along with Arthur Buchardt. AB Invest is a leading player in the development and management of hotels, offices, residential properties, and leisure homes in the Nordic region. Since its inception, AB Invest has built 20 hotels and has developed a total of approximately 500,000 square meters of commercial and leisure properties. The company owns AlpinCo, which operates the Hafjell and Kvitfjell ski resorts, HafjellKvitfjell Booking, and the Gudbrandsgard hotel in Kvitfjell. AB Invest plays a central role in destination development, focusing on facilities, plots, and leisure properties. The company is continually growing and has several exciting projects both under construction and in development.

IDA AALL GRAM – Aspelin Ramm

Aspelin Ramm develops hotels both independently and as part of larger urban development projects. What are the drivers for investments in hotels, and how are we thinking about this moving forward?


You can also meet


Where will Norwegians travel in 2024? Virke Reiseliv presents Travel Pulse and provides insight into the Norwegian population’s holiday and travel plans for 2024; the type of vacation, where we plan to spend our holidays, finances, and factors influencing decisions about vacations in 2024.



Erik is a partner and chairman of the board at Menon Economics. He has analyzed the Norwegian tourism industry for 30 years.





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