TORNA INDIETRO CONDIVIDI

BACKGROUND

Tourism is an interrelated system of demand and supply factors, as well as physical and institutional elements that interactwith each other (UNWTO, 1994). This is why the tourism phenomenon is nourished and has an impact on various sectorswhere tourism takes place; after all, visitors end up consuming (consciously or unconsciously) not just a product, butsomething more complex, a territorial area (Barrado Timón, 2001:3). This territorial sphere consumed during the journey iswhat we call destination. However, what do we understand by tourist destination?According to the World Tourism Organization, a tourist destination is a physical space, with or without administrativeboundaries, where visitors travel to spend at least one day. The destination must contain primary elements (attractions) andsecondary elements (complementary services of accommodation, catering, etc., as well as logistic and transport facilities)that form a cluster for its proper functioning. Similarly, the destination is composed of relational networks between all theactors involved in this field (UNWTO, 2016).Thus, and under this definition, two key aspects can be extracted: (1)destinations can be conceived at different territorial scales and, (2) an adequate network of actors is necessary tocollaborate and cooperate in order to improve tourism development. For this reason, tourism management should not onlybe based on promotional actions in order to achieve a greater influx of visitors and generate a positive image of thedestination, but should also be aligned with other sectors in order to balance the positive and negative effects of tourismdevelopment. The project must also involve a wide range of actors, both public and private. This alignment is based on thefoundations of Smart Tourism Destinations (hereinafter ITD) as they are based on the implementation of a holisticmanagement model where governance, sustainability, accessibility, innovation and technology come together with the aimof continuously improving the tourism development of the destination itself, through smart decisions that respond to the specific needs of the destination. Intelligence’ is not only based on the application of new technologies in the territory, butthis transformation implies that territories advance in their tourism planning and management by improving fundamentalaspects of governance, sustainability, accessibility, connectivity, innovation, tourism information and online marketing.The project aims to strengthen collaborative governance, design new tourism products and to create an understandingbetween all agents not directly attached to tourism and let them know how it is about it. A permanent InterdepartmentalCommission should be set up, composed of at least the following, by managers or technicians from the Tourism, IT,Environment, local economic promotion and other stakeholders taking part in the Value Chain of tourist products. Territorydepartments.

OBJECTIVES

The general objectives we intend to achieve is to find new VET solutions for improving the capacity building of civil servantsand professionals working with Municipalities/public administrations in the turistic field, for expanding the leisure offer insustainable tourist attractions. The specific objectives are: 1. to increase professionals’ competencies (officials/ civilservants and entrepreneurs) useful to expand the small towns’ leisure offer and tourist attraction, offering additionalexperiences based on culture, digitization and sustainable solutions; 2. To strengthen capacities for local tourismdevelopment, between small and medium-sized cities, offering short-term stays in an environment easy to visit; 3. toimprove small towns’ capacities to develop new tourism products based on digitization and sustainability through thepromotion of new tourism businesses and the citizen participation process to guarantee a positive impact on the territory.The ambition is to transform the value chain of the tourism sector, cementing its redefinition from the pillars of sustainability in the destination, the diversification of the tourism product and the tourism area and the intensive use of technology. Thanks to the cooperation of the different actors in the value chain and the collaboration of public entities, it is intended to accelerate and cause a change in the way tourism is consumed, making each individual and each organization a participant and aware of the impact of their decisions. All this aligned with the objectives of NextGeneration EU and its transversal axes: ecological and digital transition, social and territorial cohesion and gender equality.

TARGET GROUPS OF THE PROJECT

DIRECT TARGET GROUP: public employees and entrepreneurs involved in the definition, in the management andrealization of the touristic strategy of the city and the related areas. Both the public employees and entrepreneurs involved in the project will come from different public areas in order to have a useful insight on their perspectives in creating a newsustainable tourism management and strategic model. To ensure an integrated tourism based on digitization andsustainability, there will be, from one side, an interdepartmental group set up in each entity which represent all areas relating tourism: culture, environment, entrepreneurship and IT. The public employees representing these areas will be involved directly into focus groups and workshops. Their knowledge regarding local resources is essential to contribute with a theoretical and practical point of view matching an integrated digital strategy into sustainable tourism promotion. On theother side, there are the entrepreneurs which are associated in different economic sectors (commerce, industry,hotel/catering, sports). Entrepreneur sector can participate at an individual and associated level to participate directly infocus groups and workshops. They will contribute with their capacity of innovation and service supply linked to the tourismresources and technological infrastructure.

SUPPORTING TARGET GROUP: VET professionals to focus on efficiency of production and marketing processes, andexploitation of tourist resources and the identification and creation of new ones.Thanks to direct and indirect groups, the project will generate the appropriate mechanisms to facilitate a fast incorporationof innovations in destinations.

INDIRECT TARGET GROUP: local stakeholders and communities will be affected by the project, in fact the increased capability of the touristic system will positively affect. socially and economically, the entire community and in particular all those economic sectors somehow connected with the tourist one. Therefore, the tourist companies will benefit from a new market niche in local territories combining tourism experiences with technological basis. The professionalization of VET centers addressing new areas of studies specialized in revaluation of the destination through innovation and technology, as local development integrated strategy.



TORNA INDIETRO CONDIVIDI