NECSTouR at the Tourism Innovation Summit 2020

NECSTouR at the Tourism Innovation Summit 2020: Summary Report

NECSTouR was strategic partner at the TIS - Tourism Innovation Summit, 2020 (25-27 November 2020, Seville).


"The Tourism Innovation Submit offers us a unique opportunity to build the tourism of tomorrow fostering innovation to achieve competitiveness and sustainability and in partnership with all the verticals of our industry. NECSTouR members and partners will exchange tools and ideas to nourish our recovery strategies for together success in going digital while going sustainable. Our policy actions and projects must guarantee the digitalisation of the customers journey – product development, marketing, experience, loyalty – and the empowerment of our SMEs to apply technology to achieve it. Here we kick off the Marshall Plan we call for the regeneration of our destinations’ model, reaching out the socio-cultural balance we need for tourism to keep being a source of wellbeing for our people and businesses. I wish to thank the Minister of the Government of the Andalusia Region Juan Marín, and the Vice Minister Manuel Alejandro Cardenete, for making us part of the Regional Councillors Agenda and to the team of Turismo Andaluz for piloting our Tourism of Tomorrow Lab. NECSTouR is your devoted partner in this journey which has just began."

Patrick Torrent, President of NECSTouR


Technology as an instrument to reposition tourist destinations

On 26 November – together with the Regional Government of Andalusia – NECSTouR participated to a session about repositioning tourist destinations through technology and co-organised two hybrid workshops on Smart Specialisation Strategies for Digital Tourism transition. The whole was part of the Regional Councillors Agenda of the TIS.

NECSTouR President, Mr Patrick Torrent intervene during this workshop moderated by NECSTouR Vice-President, Mr Manuel Alejandro Cardenete.

The workshop was focused on how technology encourages European regions to obtain wide information to reposition and diversify destinations and tourism products, as well as to attract and improve tourist satisfaction. The example of the Smart Regions of Madrid, Galicia, Valencia or Andalusia was debated, and they allow the development of long-term strategic plans.

President Torrent stated: "We risk thinking that technology is part of the goal, but it is the way. We must help the tourism ecosystem to adopt the necessary processes for its transformation."



Smart Specialisation Strategies for digital tourism transition: AI, and data analytics applied to a new tourism normality

The workshop debated about the ingredients for successful digital tourism strategies to stimulate a better recovery of the tourism sector, which policy responses and projects we should find, which players, and how to translate those plans into the future generation of Smart Specialisation Strategies. Moderated by Patrick Torrent and Cristina Núñez, the NECSTouR President and Managing Director respectively, the session gathered representatives of the tourism departments of Lombardy, Île-de-France and Andalusia regions, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (PPT Presentation) and two tourism/travel tech companies, ARCTUR, Slovenia (PPT Presentation) and Amadeus, Spain. The future Smart Specialisation Strategies of the three regions will tackle tourism digitalisation and its link to sustainability, based in the current initiatives for Andalusia (PPT Presentation) – data driven tourism economy and start up incubation – and Lombardy (PPT Presentation) - focus on cultural and creative industries and SMEs, with a strong attention to the green and social dimension of sustainability, and for the first time in Île-de-France Region (PPT Presentation), which will then adapt its tourism digitalisation initiatives. There is expectation to mainstream the Next Generation EU package to co-finance the recovery of the sector by going digital and regional authorities are working to mainstream it through their national and regional recovery plans.

Private representatives commit to play an active role in this process and cooperating with public authorities in accelerating the digital (and greening) transition and recommend: Cooperation on common objectives around a robust business plan and solid governance enabling to sustain the project and balance businesses interests with public authorities’ mission, was the industry can bring the business and the public sector the necessary knowledge. Lastly, there is consensus about the need of a solid project enabling tourism SMEs to access, interpret and manage data for intelligence and sustainability in partnership with the public authorities, being DMOs key in this process.


Smart Specialisation Strategies for digital tourism transition: The Tourism of Tomorrow Lab

This workshop aimed at boosting the existing cooperation developing the Tourism of Tomorrow Lab project into a solid partnership. The debate was moderated by José Luís Córdoba, Director of Andalucía Lab and Project Manager of the Tourism of Tomorrow Lab. Tourism data specialists of Andalusia, Catalonia, Lapland and Tuscany debated with Amadeus about their needs in terms of access to data for decision making identifying the need building talent of local destination management organisations and their businesses to define objectives, indicators to measure those, access the necessary data and translate it into effective decision making with a longer term sustainability of destinations as goal. The Tourism of Tomorrow Lab is being developed by this partnership as the ”European Centre of Tourism (Data Intelligence) Excellence”, which is committed to the European public-private collaboration in the field of tourism data collection and analysis. Thus, the outcomes of the exchange were validating the need of this project to be launched by adapting its future services to the needs of a critical mass of European tourism destination managing authorities.

The NECSTouR Coordinator highlighted the need to finance the Tourism of Tomorrow Lab through the EU Recovery Plan and future generation of European Cohesion Funds, which Regional Authorities will manage, being NECSTouR a hub of European Regions committed to invest in digitalisation and sustainability of their tourism ecosystems and potentially users of the Tourism of Tomorrow Lab.


Both workshops are strategic areas of action in the NECSTouR work programme, which includes pursuing this work and plans ahead the next edition of the TIS to keep benchmarking and sharing the first results.

More information is available at the following links:

- NECSTouR calls for a Tourism Marshall Plan Towards a Sustainable Recovery of the Sector

- NECSTouR Strategic Meeting "Next Generation EU: Sustainable and Resilient Regional Tourism Recovery" (14 December 2020)