Spain, through the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and SEGITTUR, will collaborate with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote the smart tourism destinations (DTI) model in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Spain has been a pioneer in the world in the development of the DTI model, having obtained not only national recognition, but also international recognition by such relevant organizations as the IDB, the World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council or the European Commission.

The IDB is the main source of financing for development in Latin America and the Caribbean and prioritizes tourism as one of the main instruments to promote economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental preservation in the region.

The IDB has opted for SEGITTUR because of its track record and experience, not only in creating the DTI model and methodology, but also in promoting a Network of Smart Tourist Destinations (RED DTI), which currently has more than 250 members. The project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through the General Cooperation Fund of Spain.

The DTI model

The Smart Tourist Destination (DTI) project was created with the aim of providing destinations with a tool to face the challenges of the sector, improve their competitiveness and develop a sustainable tourism model in the long term.

The DTIs implement a pioneering methodology throughout the world, focused on incorporating innovation and new technologies into work processes, always at the service of sustainability and accessibility objectives, in an efficient, transparent and participatory tourism governance model.

In parallel to the development of a homogeneous framework, the DTIs are aligned with the process of creating smart cities that in Spain has its own Technical Standard, UNE 178501, which also regulates the DTI Management System, in addition to the UNE 178502, relative to indicators and tools, and with UNE 178503 on semantics applied to tourism.

The DTI Network

The maximization of the benefits that the DTI Methodology brings to destinations is promoted through the DTI Network, a space for exchange and coordination for the transfer of knowledge, the generation of synergies between destinations and the development of strategic alliances between them and the private sector, giving continuity and solidity to the initiative.

The project, sponsored by the IDB through the General Cooperation Fund of Spain and which will last until 2022, will promote the adoption of technology in LAC destinations, as well as a governance oriented towards the creation of a regional DTI Network, taking into account the need to promote public-private cooperation, strengthen destination management capacities, as well as generate a collaborative fabric in which to exchange good practices and generate knowledge about the potential of technologies applied to tourism.

The DTIs in the LAC Region

WTTC estimates suggest that, in 2019, tourism represented 8.1% of total Latin American GDP and 13.8% of Caribbean GDP. Tourism was also responsible for 7.9% of total employment in Latin America and 13.5% in the Caribbean. However, the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector is profound, globally.

In this context, it is essential to consider the role that digital and emerging technologies can play to reactivate the sector and guarantee its future profitability, reinforcing not only the concepts of health security, but also those of adaptation to climate change and socio-environmental sustainability in destinations. .

For this reason, this project is relevant and timely, since it will apply instruments for technological diagnosis and dissemination of knowledge, it will prepare technological pre-investment plans and innovative project designs that will accelerate the adoption of digital and emerging technologies by the tourist destinations of LAC.

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