New shape and drives for the tourism sector

ShapeTourism, a 18-Months Interreg MED-funded project started in November 2016, has designed and developed a Participative Decision Support System, based on an innovative holistic methodology able to shape and drive sustainable tourism development, ensuring attractiveness, growth and sustainability of MED cultural destination.

Exploiting the full potential of data to inform the decision making process is the key challenge also for the tourism sector. However, most of the decision makers are overwhelmed by Big Data “this is why we decided to move forward the excel files by creating the ShapeTourism Observatory” affirmed Dario Bertocchi - Research fellow at the Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Representing ShapeTourism - at the MED Sustainable Tourism Community Mid-term Conference “Re-Connecting Tourism: promoting evidence-based policies for sustainable development”, held in Rome on 29-30 May 2018.

ShapeTourism, a 18-Months Interreg MED-funded project started in November 2016, has designed and developed a Participative Decision Support System, based on an innovative holistic methodology able to shape and drive sustainable tourism development, ensuring attractiveness, growth and sustainability of MED cultural destination. It is a participatory platform that, using main indicators like competitiveness, sustainability, reputation and destination attractiveness, collects destinations data from users, tourists and from social networks. The goal is to understand the performance of the destinations from the tourists point of view. The observatory integrates traditional data with broad mass of data, using new methods for collecting and processing Big Data and generate open data able to overpass informative limitations of conventional statistical analysis.

The system is organized in four parts, easily accessible to use and navigate. Here as follows you could discover the tools developed.

  • The ShapeTourism Observatory, an innovative observatory which integrates traditional data with broad mass of data, using new methods for collecting and processing Big Data and generate open data able to overpass informative limitations of conventional statistical analysis. Its main aim is to improve the knowledge framework about the tourism health of MED cultural destinations, and help stakeholders to “shape tourism in a sustainable way”. Here you will find an explanatory video which shows the interactive maps based on the four dimensions: Reputation, Attractiveness, Competitiveness, and Sustainability covering the 52 Mediterranean Regions.
  • The ShapeTourism Survey is a Mediterranean Tourism Stakeholders Survey providing unique insights into tourism’s state of health in the Mediterranean area today. Among its objectives, it aims in fact at evaluating the tourism industry’s dynamics and trends, predicting the possible impacts of global changes on sustainable tourism development, assessing stakeholders’ perceptions of their destination’s life cycle stage and identifying sustainable practices being incorporated into private stakeholders’ operations, as well as barriers and challenges to adopting these practices.

  • The ShapeTourism Carrying Capacity Scenarios Simulator provides a useful tool for interpreting future scenarios of the Mediterranean regions in relation to established indicators. This tool is easily accessible for all users and provides: comparable information for all MED regions, information for coastal and non-coastal areas, historical information, future scenarios with different time horizons. The scenarios are based on alternative future courses of demand and supply tourism variables.

  • The ShapeTourism Clusters Maps tool provides a visualisation of the geographical concentration of Mediterranean regions based on the driving forces, pressures, state and response (DPSR) model. The ShapeTourism project team conducted a DPSR analysis of MED regions at the NUTS 2 level.

Created in November 2016 within the framework of the Interreg MED Programme, the MED Sustainable Tourism Community gathers 18 territorial cooperation projects co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and almost 200 organisations (public authorities, private companies, universities, NGOs and international organisations) active in twelve European-Mediterranean coastal areas.

Most notably, the Community’s members are leading the development of common tools to monitor the tourism industry, they are studying and testing new tourism models and they are actively engaging policy makers and managers in a constant dialogue to make tourism a real driver for sustainable development.

The BleuTourMed is an Interreg MED project featuring the MED Sustainable Tourism Community and is coordinated by Arco Latino, a network of local public authorities based in Barcelona, in partnership with UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union (Rome), University of Panteion (Athens), Plan Bleu for the environment and development in the Mediterranean (Marseille), Barcelona Provincial Council (Barcelona) and Adriatic and Ionian Euroregion (Pula).

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