SMARTMED AT THE TASK FORCE ‘TOURISM AND CULTURE’ OF THE INTERMEDITERRANEAN COMMISSION
A wide range of Mediterranean regions gathered online on 15th December for a meeting of the Task Force on Tourism and Culture organized by the Intermediterranean Commission of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions. During the meeting, progress was presented on several projects focused on sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean: DESTIMED+, MEDCYCLETOUR, SMARTMED, BEST MED, as well as the work of the Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism Community.
In particular, the Smart Tourism Business Model was presented by the Lead Partner, as one of the most relevant results of the SMARTMED project to date. This is due to its potential to tackle major issues in the tourism sector, such as a lack of long-term vision for Mediterranean destinations, its disconnection from the wider territorial development framework, and the lack of attractiveness of the region for innovative business. In this regard, the model is expected to improve sustainability, inclusion, competitiveness, and innovation in the field.
The pilot action carried out by the Puglia Region was then outlined. This consisted in upgrading the existing regional digital platform to reinforce the innovative digital ecosystem. By doing so, the Italian partner aims at raising awareness on smart tourism and supporting the transition among stakeholders in the region. Future steps will include gamification through augmented reality apps for promoting events, territories, or cultural assets, as well as networking opportunities and other promotional tools.
In reaction to the presentations, Spyros Papaspyrou, Deputy Head of Department of Development Planning of Western Greece, suggested including big data tools for an efficient strategy towards smart tourism. In his view, digitalization will be key to ensure a transition towards sustainability for the sector. This could be possible by producing and sharing knowledge through dedicated trainings for the public and private sectors. Financial instruments could provide relevant support towards this goal.
After the meeting, all attendees were asked if their regions were interested in replicating the tools presented, creating momentum for the transferring of SMARTMED’s results towards new territories.