Tourism Innovation Summit 2020 took place from November 25-27 in Sevilla. The event was organised as a live event, adhering to the strictest health and hygiene rules and regulations. It was meant to be a symbolic statement that despite the challenges of the current reality bound to COVID-19 such events can still be successfully accomplished. It was opened by the Spanish queen Letizia in the company of international politicians and experts, also from Slovenia. Arctur has once again proved the importance of the Tourism 4.0 initiative by receiving the award for The best innovation in the field of artificial intelligence and data analytics for the tool called TIM – Tourism Impact Model.
Tourism, one of the fastest growing industries, has been stopped virtually overnight because of the COVID-19 epidemic. It made us realise just how interwoven it is into all aspects of society. Rapidly changing circumstances are demanding solutions that enable municipalities, destinations and countries a quick and competent response in all situation. Some of the most important representatives gathered at this event, dedicated to restart of tourism, alongside queen Letizia there were also, Reyes Maroto the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Juan Manuel Moreno, President of Junta de Andalucía, Juan Espadas, the mayor of Seville and many others international representatives from all fields of tourism.
Are we the owners of our own data and consequently decisions?
Two of the main speakers at the event were also Urška Starc Peceny PhD, the head of Tourism 4.0 department at Arctur and Tomi Ilijaš, the CEO. They have presented Tourism 4.0, a Slovenian initiative, which has grown into an international partnership with more than 150 members from all over the world.
"The essence of Tourism 4.0 is the awareness that in addition to good food, friendly people and beautiful nature, tourism is ruled by other forces, namely high technology. The fact is that Europe has fallen asleep from that aspect and technology is in the hands of American corporations, "said Tomi Ilijaš.
Tourism 4.0 is the European answer and focuses on the quality of life of the local residents, sustainable development of the environment and respect for personal privacy. There is a huge amount of data around collected and stored in various ways. As such, however, these data have no value, they need to be converted into information which will give key decision-makers a good enough picture to help them take the right decision in which direction to develop tourism, infrastructure and other areas.
The team at Arctur, in the company of international experts, found that people's perceptions of the effects of tourism are often significantly different from the real situation. TIM is the first step on the path to change that. It is based on more than three hundred indicators to show the effects of tourism in a selected destination. It covers all areas of life and presents an objective picture of both, the positive and negative effects of tourism. Assessments with TIM are currently carried out as part of European projects led by Arctur at six destinations in the Black Sea area, 24 destinations in the Danube region and in 5 brave Slovenian municipalities that have joined already the testing phase and are just finishing data collecting.
"The opportunity for Slovenia is to use the tool for assessing the majority of the territory and become a reference country. Currently, we mostly make decisions based on data collected and processed by foreign corporations. Is this the future we want or do want to become owners of our data and the consequent decisions?” asks dr. Urška Starc Peceny.