"In NECSTouR we believe that the European Tourism has already the hardware - meaning the products and the infrastructures - and it is time now to invest on the software - meaning innovation and skills"
With that words, Mr Patrick Torrent - NECSTouR President, Catalonia Region - intervened at the European Tourism Day, organised by the European Commission in Brussels on the last 28th of November.
A call for smart multilevel governance in Tourism. Mr Torrents' intervention focused on future partnership models and cooperation in Tourism which NECSTouR is about to develop, calling the current Estonian Presidency of the EU and the following Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies to provide the necessary framework to make possible the coordination between EU institutions - National Ministries and their regions.
Initiative on Digitalisation and Safety for Tourism. On his intervention, Mr Torrent underlined also the NECSTouR decision to invest in cross-cutting innovation, in helping our SMEs to go embrace the opportunities that the digital market offers to them, to get them through the sector global trends, to foster entrepreneurship, by supporting the consortium “Digitalisaiton and Safety for Tourism”, developed by some members of NECSTouR in framework of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation.
Attended by representatives from 13 NECSTouR member Regions and 400 other participants, the European Tourism Day has been also the opportunity to present some of their priorities for investments for their future tourism development. As presented by Ms Raquel Huete, Director-General of the Valencia Region, the priority in Valencia is Innovation. According to Mr Laurent Besozzi, Deputy Director on Attractiveness, International promotion and Innovation, from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, development of attractiveness is also a fundamental priority. Mr Ben Wayts, Flemish Minister for Tourism, underlined the importance of a sustainable tourism development through the resident involvement (video message).
NECSTouR and the upcoming year 2018. The presence of so many NECSTouR members, has been also the opportunity to plan the future activities for the upcoming year. On the previous day, a Working Group Open Day enlighten a particular interest and engagement on Innovation, Skills, measurement, indicators (in the framework of the MITOMED+ Project).
Preparing the European Year on Cultural Heritage 2018. The Open Day has been also the opportunity to plan the NECSTouR contribution to the upcoming European Year on Cultural Heritage, in cooperation with the UNWTO, Europa Nostra and all the main Tourism stakeholders that are mainly engaged on tourism and cultural sustainability.
Preparing the EU-China Tourism Year 2018. In parallel with the European Tourism Day, the Executive Committee of NECSTouR had also the opportunity to meet the General Managers of Hi.Seas Corporation and to discuss with them future cooperation in the framework of the EU-China Tourism Year which will be officially launched in Venice on the next month of January.
"According to current trends and forecasts - concluded Mr Torrent at the end of his intervention - innovative tourism partnerships have to co-invest for the sustainable competitiveness of the European tourism, focusing on innovation in product, in process and in services.