In the age of technology, tourist destinations are evolving to offer increasingly smarter and more connected experiences to tourists. These destinations are now associated to the concept of Smart Tourism Destination, a term which defines those places which offer a variety of services and attractions to satisfy the demands of travellers connected to the new globalised world.
What is a Smart Tourism Destination ?
Smart Tourism Destination is a concept which refers to those cities and towns which have adopted advanced technology to improve the experience of tourists. We are speaking of technology such as mobile applications, geographical information systems, augmented reality, robots or social networks among many others.
The reason for using these types of technologies at the service of towns and cities is to offer a connected, safe and accessible tourism destination providing a variety of attractions, services, conveniences and highly personalised experiences.
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What are the features of a Smart Tourism Destination ?
Let us now look at some of the features and examples of technologies defining those cities which may be described as Smart Tourism Destinations:
- Accessibility: They are towns that offer a variety of options for efficient, safe and affordable transport for tourists.
- Efficient use of energy: Cities which are committed to renewable energies in the use of urban fixtures: lighting, public transport, cleaning systems…
- User experience: Smart destinations offer visitors a unique and customised user experience. They use information to create a personalised travel plan for visitors which is adapted to their interests and needs.
- Technological innovation: This type of smart destination uses innovative technologies to improve the user´s experience, including augmented reality services or artificial intelligence. This will help visitors to achieve a far more immersive and meaningful experience at the destination.
- Safe infrastructure: Smart destinations invest in secure infrastructures to guarantee the security and trust of the tourists: security cameras, alarm systems connected to the enforcement authorities, protected computer networks…
- Sustainability: Smart Tourism Destinations promote the conservation of natural resources and the sustainability of the environment with measures such as the education of tourists concerning respect for the environment, the conservation of monuments or the development of waste management programmes.
What can a Smart Tourism Destination contribute to Business Tourism?
A Smart Tourism Destination offers a variety of solutions which enhance the experience of business travellers. These solutions include high speed broad band connections, secure wireless connections and advanced security systems. This allows business travellers to quickly connect to their corporate resources and stay up to date with their work, all the while without any concerns regarding connection problems or even cyber security.
In addition, a Smart Tourism Destination provides access to a variety of attractions and interconnected activities with a constant flow of information which allows you to be updated 24 hours a day with the activity of your sector, in such a way that you can take the best decisions whilst taking full advantage of your business trip.
Smart Tourism Destinations in Spain
Currently, only those destinations that obtain a score of 80% or more with Smart Tourism Destination methodology receive recognition as a Smart Tourism Destination.
According to the criteria for obtaining this recognition, fulfilling at least 80% of the requirements, these are the Smart Tourism Destinations in Spain 2022: Benidorm, Gijón, Málaga, Tenerife and Santander. The title is, however, subject to constant development and will have a validity of two years, while the destination is expected to continue working to maintain their improvement in tourism quality.
Benidorm, Smart Tourism Destination
Benidorm is the only Smart Tourism Destination on the Costa Blanca, Spain. In recent years Benidorm has developed a series of initiatives focused on improving the experience of tourists.
Among these we can find the campaign to encourage hotels to implement sustainable practices. This includes the use of renewable energies, efficient management of water and a reduction in the use of chemical products. Some hotels also offer incentives to their clients who choose to reduce their environmental impact with for example the use of bicycles to move around the town.
Benidorm has also adopted a sustainable mobility plan to reduce air pollution. This includes setting up a network of efficient public transport, along with promoting the use of electric vehicles.
The town has also installed several charge points for electric vehicles. This allows tourists to visit Benidorm without having to worry about the fuel of their vehicle.