NECSTouR President Peter De Wilde and Manuela Bigi

NECSTouR's leading destination managers share good practices during 2023 BTO

This year's BTO (Be Travel Onlife), Italy's leading innovation tourism fair on Digital Tourism and Innovation, took place on 22-23 November in Florence, hosted and organised by NECSTouR's vice-presidency, the Tuscany Region.

Peter De Wilde, CEO of Visit Flanders and President of NECSTouR, pronounced the opening keynote speech, together with Francesco Tapinassi, executive director of Toscana Promozione Turistica and BTO Scientific Director, Daniela Santachè, Italy's Minister of Tourism (online), and Mariana Oleskiv, Chairperson of Ukraine's State Agency for Tourism Development.

During the speech, President De Wilde stated:

 We aim at gathering all the regions' pathways into a unified voice and accelerate the delivery of a renewed tourism governance, genuine experiences, business digitalisation and competitiveness, balancing visitors' flow in time and space, decarbonising and operating more climate and socially friendly.

NECSTouR members Marta Domènech i Tomàs, Manuela Bigi and Françoise Guspare at a BTO panel


Multiple good practices have been highlighted by the members of our Board of Directors during the two days: 

1) Flander's A.I.-created routes through the region, completely tailor-made for the traveller, and the A.I.-avatar of the Flemish scientist Gerard Mercator, presented by President De Wilde.

2) The Catalan Commitment to boost Responsible Tourism - including 12 initiatives for innovation-based tourism - and the development of Wine and Food as ambassadors to promote the local traditions and culture among the temporary residents of Catalonia, World Region of Gastronomy in 2025. Presented by Marta Domènech i Tomàs, Catalonia's Tourism General Director.

3) Smart solutions to manage visitor flows during the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics Games in the Île-de-France Region. Presented by Françoise Guspare, the responsible for European Policies at the Île-de-France Region.

4) The work of the Regione Toscana on creating a cross-border touristic offer supported by the use of digital data. Presented by  Manuela Bigi, Head of Partnerships and Coordination of Integrated Projects on Tourism at Tuscany Region.

5) People-centered consulting services provided by our Tourism of Tomorrow Lab Department supported by Andalusia Region, letting the destination managers acquire the necessary skills to develop better data-based decisions, towards sustainability values change. Presented by Jose Luis Cordoba, director of ToT Lab and managing director of the Andalucia Lab.

The Tuscany headquarters also hosted the last meeting of 2023 of our Board of Directors: a time to share all the achievements from 2023, but also to pave the way ahead, defining our Work Programme 2024 and the long-term NECSTouR Pathway 2030 together with the Travel Foundation.

Check the highlights of the discussion.