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The World Tourism Organization, together with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and the Digital Agenda of Spain and the Region of Murcia organized the 1st UNWTO World Conference on Smart Destinations, which was held from the 15th – 17th of February 2017.

(From left to right) Ms. Matilde Asían, Secretary of State of Tourism of Spain, Mr. Pedro Antonio Sánchez, President of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO and Mr. José Ballesta, Mayor of Murcia

Similar to other sectors, tourism is experiencing immense changes due to the technological advances in both the demand and supply side, creating many new opportunities as well challenges for all actors in the sector.

Smart destinations’ are key to sustainable development and contribute not only to advances in the tourism sector but also in societies at large. The use of technological solutions contributes effectively to evidence-based decision making, prioritization of measures and anticipation of future scenarios, which is essential for responsible management of tourism and its impacts.

On the way to becoming a smart destination, which continuously seeks to strengthen the sustainable development of tourism through innovation and technology, stakeholders are confronted with vast challenges and possibilities which require to be carefully considered, prioritized and selected. Geo-referenced data, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), Open Data and many other data-related sources and concepts represent fundamental elements for the transition towards more intelligent, sustainable and competitive tourist destinations that meet the needs of all stakeholders involved.

While the digitalization of the sector is offering many new opportunities for destinations, entrepreneurs and tourists, it is also allowing the sector to better meet goals and visions as set at the local, regional, national and international level such as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In order to summarize the content of the three days’ conference that included more than 100 panelists, discussing topics related to the four essential areas for smart destinations: innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility, an Outcome Document was prepared. For more information on the programme, relevant links as well as the Outcome Document, please see below:

 

Offical Website of the Conference: http://www.smartdestinationsworldconference.org
Links to videos and presentations: here

Outcome Document: see below

Final Programme: see below
Press Release: here

Fotos on Flickr: here

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