21 to 23 November

Valencia to host the World Tourism Organisation's 3rd World Congress on Smart Destinations in November

News - 11.5.2022

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Smart Tourism Destination model promoted by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Valencia, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022, is hosting this meeting of world tourism experts, which will focus on the five pillars that make up a smart destination: governance, sustainability, innovation, technology and accessibility.

The congress is now in its third edition after the 2017 and 2018 editions. The conference comes at a key moment when an increasing number of destinations are committing to the smart destination methodology, both inside and outside Spain, to which can be added the success of the Spanish Network of Smart Destinations, which already has nearly 500 members, including destinations, institutions and companies.

According to the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation, Zurab Pololikashvili, "We are leveraging talent, innovation and digital transformation to make tourism contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, and this Congress marks the future of smarter, safer and more inclusive tourism".

For the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, "this Congress is an example of the collaboration of the different administrations to promote digital transformation and of their commitment to an increasingly sustainable development of tourism". "And there is no more appropriate a place to hold the congress than Valencia, designated by the European Commission as the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022," said the head of the department.

The regional secretary for Tourism of the Generalitat Valenciana, Francesc Colomer, said that "we feel very identified with the values of this Congress", stressing that "the Valencian Community has the largest DTI Network in Spain and we have a solid strategy as prescribed by our Law on Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality". Furthermore, he pointed out that "the green and sustainable revolution of the tourism economy will only be driven by a digital revolution, in which we are already immersed". "We hope that this Congress will be another step towards the compatibility of the values of hospitality with the use of artificial intelligence and new technologies in the field of tourism," he added.

For her part, Sandra Gómez, Deputy Mayor of València, stressed that "it is very important for València to host the World Congress on Smart Tourism, precisely the year that the European Commission has recognised our tourism management strategy and our commitment to co-governance and sustainability, and which has designated us European Capital of Smart Tourism". "During this congress, key issues for the qualitative boost of one of the most important economic and social development engines of our society will be discussed", said the deputy mayoress.

Since its inception, the DTI model, a pioneer in Spain, has sought a more efficient and sustainable management of destinations, an increase in tourism profitability and greater competitiveness of the Spanish economy, applying technology and innovation to destinations to improve the accessibility of their inhabitants and the quality of life of their neighbours.

Contents of the Congress

The Congress will become an open forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges of tourist destinations and the solutions they require to remain competitive and sustainable, and how technology and innovation applied to the tourism sector are generating structural changes that have come to shape a new business environment that goes hand in hand with tourism intelligence.

To this end, public administrations, the business sector, researchers, academics, technology centres, civil society, local agents and universities from all over the world will come together to analyse and co-build the tourism model of the 21st century, sharing knowledge, forming alliances and making progress in understanding the key elements of smart destinations.

Among other topics, this third edition of the Congress will address tourism governance, the digital transformation of the tourism sector, circularity applied to tourism, the accessibility of tourism resources and new tourism indicators, or the metaverse applied to tourism, without forgetting the importance of sustainability as the central pillar of transformation of the sector.

What's new at the Congress: Call for papers and Hackathon

Academics and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to share their research on the following topics: collaborative governance, development and resilience; green transition and sustainability in smart destinations; and the advent of smart destinations and technologies. The deadline for the submission of these studies is 7 June.

Prior to the Congress, the second Hackathon for Smart Destinations will be held, focusing on the development of smart solutions for sustainable tourism (19-20 November).

Non official translation