France, Greece and Colombia present sustainable destination strategies and success stories at TIS2022

 Thursday, November 3, 2022 

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What do France, Greece or the small town of Melgar in Colombia have in common with Spanish cities of Huelva or Barcelona?

On its first day, TIS – Tourism Innovation Summit 2022 presented the success stories of national and international tourist destinations that are leading sustainable tourism with their initiatives and strategies.


During the first day of TIS2022, that will gather more than 6,000 congress attendees over these three days, they’ve had the opportunity to learn about the practices and initiatives that are already underway to renew the tourism sector with technology and data as the main allies to transform their tourism models towards much more intelligent and sustainable ones. Caroline Leboucher, General Manager of Atout France, the French Tourism Development Agency, stressed that “it is necessary to have clear objectives. That’s why we are working on rankings or best practices to help SMEs in the industry to be sustainable”.

Eleni Skarveli, director of Visit Greece, the Greek National Tourism Organisation, for the UK and Ireland, focused on the challenge of involving all industry players in the deployment of a new tourism model. “There are a lot of things we are already doing, and what we have seen is that we are not sharing them, either locally or internationally, which is a brake”.


The secretary for economic development and tourism of the city of Melgar, in Colombia, María del Pilar Rubio, shared with the attendees the conversion of a destination that this year celebrates 150 years of history. “As long as tourism is not part of the development plans of a territory, we will not be able to make it sustainable,” she said. The city has a very important coffee industry, which today has been converted into an agrotourism experience that has given rise to the Olor y Sabor a Cordillera route. The head of tourism has also highlighted the conversion of a model that has allowed a 40% increase in hotel occupancy in the municipality to nearby destinations, which has also served to strengthen their position.
Innovation and data, the lever of change for the tourism model Technology and data analysis are the common thread running through all these experiences.

Felipe Formariz, General Director of strategy and services for the tourism sector at Turespaña, gave an example of one of the initiatives currently being developed to understand the needs of citizens and tourists, which “do not always coincide” and yet must coexist in the destination, and to create services that respond to all of them. “An intelligent platform that uses data to help SMEs in the sector to manage their businesses in a more sustainable and efficient way,” he said.

Barcelona Provincial Council and Huelva Provincial Council also shared their experiences in the management of territories made up of multiple tourist destinations, with different needs and offers, and in the development of good practices to help them become more sustainable. “Sometimes we forget what tourism is and we talk about the industry, an overly productive concept that distances us from the current situation in which sustainability is gaining strength. We must start talking about a tourism system, which is much more complex and which integrates many different private sectors and scales, various administrations, and of course one of the most forgotten, the resident”, emphasised Xavier Font, Head of the Technical Tourism Office of the Barcelona Provincial Council, in his speech.


To achieve this integration, Barcelona Provincial Council has implemented a management model that “improves the competitiveness of the Barcelona destination”, which is made up of 310 municipalities spread throughout the province. “Our success story is based on the development of good practices for each of the municipalities integrated in the territory, with training and consultancy, so that they can implement specific actions. We are working with more than 500 companies in these municipalities to work on the sustainability of the territory as a whole”.


From the Huelva Provincial Council, Jesús Díaz, strategic director of tourism innovation, stressed that “sustainability must be internalised in its three dimensions, social, environmental and economic”, and added that it is necessary to be clear “what purpose the destination has in order to build tools, instruments and policies based on that. If the purpose is not clear, it will be difficult to achieve it”.
Together with these destinations, companies such as Biosphere, Mastercard and Vueling also shared the good practices that are being implemented to understand how to tackle sustainability and redefine the industry to ensure its future.


TIS 2022 is being held in Seville (Spain) until next Friday, 4 November, bringing together more than 6,000 professionals, along with more than 400 international speakers to discuss strategies of an industry that is an economic and employment driver in the global economy. In addition, more than 150 exhibiting firms are participating, such as Accenture, Amadeus, CaixaBank, City Sightseeing Worldwide, The Data Appeal Company, EY, Mabrian, MasterCard, Telefónica Empresas, Convertix, Keytel, PastView and Turijobs. All of them will present their latest solutions in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Cybersecurity, Big Data & Analytics, Marketing Automation, contactless technology and Predictive Analytics, among others, for the tourism sector.

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