Smart Tourism Tools In The Mediterranean Destinations: Sustainable Tourism Community @ CETT Smart Tourism Congress 11th November 2020

On 11th November the Sustainable Tourism Community participated in “CETT Smart Tourism Congress” in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), an international congress gathering academics and professionals, focussing on innovation, sustainability, technology and governance, organised by CETT - Barcelona School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy.

The Sustainable Tourism Community showcased some of the smart tourism tools developed by its projects in Mediterranean tourist destinations at the “Smart Tourism Congress” on 11th November 2020, an international event gathering academics and professionals, focussing on innovation, sustainability, technology and governance, organised by CETT - Barcelona School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy. <Should you wish to watch the replay video go here>.

By introducing the session dedicated to “Smart Tourism Tools In The Mediterranean Destinations”, Josep Rodriguez (DIBA - Barcelona Provincial Council, lead partner of the Sustainable Tourism Community) explained the added value of the Sustainable Tourism Community - an Interreg MED Programme initiative gathering 22 territorial cooperation projects and two strategic projects focusing on governance issues - in promoting the results achieved and to advocate for better policies to facilitate the transition towards more sustainable tourism models in the Mediterranean. More specifically, three projects have been selected to illustrate the tools they have developed and to share their experiences: ShapeTourism, MITOMED+ and HERIT-DATA.

/ Dario Bertocchi (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) presented the Smart Integrated Tourism Data System (SITDS), an online, interactive and user-friendly observatory platform and a simulator tool developed by ShapeTourism project. This tool has been designed to monitor tourism development dynamics and to assess the Mediterranean coastal regions’ sustainability and tourism performance, and to support the decision making process by providing actionable insights. The added value of this platform is to integrate different data sources, from official statistics to user-generated contents, and to visualise the indicators with a regional perspective. 

The original tool is here https://shapetourism.interreg-med.eu/

/ Ana Moniche (Andalusian Tourism, Area of Statistics and Market Research - SAETA) stressed that as developing sustainable tourism is an ongoing process we need to rely on sound and constantly updated indicators to better steer this process and adapt our policies and strategies. For this, the MITOMED+ project has developed a set of indicators meant to help policy-makers to monitor tourism trends, to evaluate its multiple impacts and to take actions to amend or mitigate any issue that emerges. The creation of an online tool for this purpose eased the transferability and capitalisation of its results.

Video explaining the online platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq2BXRbW8is&t=321s

/ Manuela Bigi, (Tuscany Region, Manager in charge of European projects and digitisation, Tourism and Trade Department) shed some light on the potential of big data and ICT - Information and Communication Technologies in reducing the negative impacts of tourism on cultural and natural heritage sites. The Herit-Data project has developed an online and open access platform, based on the Snap4City technology designed by the University of Florence, that gathers a set of indicators. This tool will be primarily tested by six pilot areas in Mediterranean coastal towns to monitor and manage tourist flows.

Exploiting the full potential of big data and ICT was deemed strategic by Mediterranean cities in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list to mitigate the downsides of overtourism, while now they can be used to ensure physical distance between tourists and the safety of tourist destinations. 

The web platform is available here https://www.snap4city.org/dashboardSmartCity/management/dashboards.php?linkId=dashboardsLink&fromSubmenu=false&pageTitle=Dashboards+(Public+by+(ORG))&sorts[title_header]=1&queries[search]=florence

The Sustainable Tourism Community - an Interreg MED initiative co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - has been launched in November 2016 for a three-year period and, in October 2019 it has been renewed until June 2022 and enriched with five new territorial cooperation projects. 

The Community can now rely on 22 territorial cooperation projects and almost 400 organisations (public authorities, private companies, universities, NGOs and international organisations) active in 13 European countries to promote sustainable tourism by capitalizing on tools and good practices developed by its projects. Besides, two Strategic Projects, approved in October 2019, focusing on governance of sustainable tourism will join forces with the Community to make tourism a real driver for inclusive and sustainable growth.

// Project Partners //

The MED Sustainable Tourism community is an Interreg MED Programme initiative coordinated by DIBA - Barcelona Provincial Council (Barcelona, Spain) in partnership with UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union(Rome, Italy), University of Thessaly (Thessaly, Greece),  Arco Latino, a network of local public authorities (Tarragona, Spain), NECSTour - Network of European Regions or Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (Brussels, Belgium), Plan Bleu UNEP MAP, the Regional Activity Centre of Mediterranean Action Plan (Marseille, France), Adriatic and Ionian Euroregion (Pula, Croatia), RDA Green Karst Regional Development Agency (Pivka, Slovenia)

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