Smart Destinations as a Tourism Development Strategy
On 10.27.2020 in Croatia, an online panel discussion on smart tourism was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the leading partner of Smartmed project, an initiative focused on 13 member states. The main goal is the development of smart tourism in the Mediterranean through the use of tools to preserve the vitality of tourism, given its importance from many perspectives. The panel entitled “Challenges and opportunities for tourism development in Croatia” gathered over 150 participants.
Our Smart Tourism initiative was presented by the director and owner of the travel tech company Orioly – Ivan Ilijašić, one of the speakers on technology and IT. This was the area with the lowest grade among all key areas considered by the project: technology, sustainability, cooperation and participation, and human capital.
Recognizing the need to take action, even before joining the Smartmed project, “Smart Tourism” was established, formed by a network of leading experts in the development of smart solutions for tourism.
We promote the use of technology for destination development, which is not possible without innovative models and the right infrastructure. That is even more critical considering a pandemic that has shaped tourism supply and demand for the next few years, if not forever. A tourist destination is more than a location, it’s also made up of people, and through cooperation, it will be possible to change destinations for the better.
Therefore, through the Smart Tourism initiative, we want to encourage the networking and connection of stakeholders in tourism, aiming for interdisciplinary strategic development. We know that we are on the right track when checking the official projections of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. According to it, by June of 2022 business models should be adopted by each member state based on their needs.
Smart Tourism is a continuous digital transformation, which, with the help of expert knowledge, will follow world trends and set new ones, developing innovative tourism models, more adapted to the “new normal” and resilient to new changes in the industry landscape.