Published on June 14, 2024, 6:15 am

Telefónica España is spearheading the creation of a Tourism Innovation Hub (HIT) alongside over 40 specialized companies in the industry with the aim of driving its digitalization. Emphasis will be placed on promoting new smart tourism destinations (DTI), of which there are currently over 400 in Spain. It is worth noting that DTIs were introduced back in 2013 to modernize and enhance the competitiveness of Spanish tourist destinations, integrating concepts such as public-private collaboration, sustainability, accessibility, innovation, and technology.

More than a decade later, initiatives supported by the State Secretariat for Tourism (SEGITTUR) have positioned Spain as a benchmark in the digital transformation of the sector. “Tourism plays a vital role in our country’s economic and cultural development and has a significant impact on our territories,” stated Adrián García Nevado, Director of Enterprise at Telefónica España. The tourism industry stands out as Spain’s primary driver of economic growth; in 2023, it accounted for 12.8% of the GDP according to Exceltur, and during the first quarter of 2024, it was responsible for creating 24.8% of employment according to data from the Active Population Survey (EPA).

Given this significance, Telefónica España is aiming to establish an ecosystem of tourism and technology-focused companies to facilitate sector transformation. “This entails deploying intelligent platforms and developing digital solutions that contribute to enhancing destination competitiveness,” explained García Nevado. This new collaboration agreement has been endorsed by over 40 companies and institutions with varying sizes and expertise but with significant territorial presence.

Expert organizations specializing in tourism business, personalized traveler experiences, tourism space transformation, digitalization, data-integrating intelligent platforms, sector-specific software development, big data analytics, IoT solutions, and sensory technologies form part of this new hub community. The focus is on accelerating tourist destination digitalization through cooperation to offer visitors personalized experiences throughout their journey phases.

The overarching goal is to create useful information shareable at a national level via a comprehensive data lake built from sector-specific data while fostering collaboration and innovation towards sustainable tourism practices. Tourism strategies have transitioned from traditional ‘sun and beach’ models towards quality-centric approaches as differentiators for a new sustainable model where resource management at destinations and ensuring positive traveler experiences pre-, during-, and post-trip take center stage.

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