The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has participated in the presentation of the report "Tourism innovation and smart specialization in Spain: Essential levers for recovery", prepared by SEGITTUR in collaboration with the Cotec Foundation for Innovation and Infyde. A work that offers an overall and territorialized vision of the defining elements of our tourism model before the arrival of COVID-19 and focuses on innovation, knowledge and smart specialization as levers on which to design the sheet of route for recovery and transition towards a new more resilient, sustainable, digital and innovative tourism model. The report carries out an analysis of the relationship between innovation and the tourism sector based on the exploitation of statistical information available between 2003 and 2018.

For Minister Reyes Maroto, “it is time to address a reflection on the competitive model of the Spanish tourism sector and its role in the economy and to integrate new competitive factors such as sustainability, quality, knowledge and innovation. The new Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2030 and the Modernization and Competitiveness Plan of the tourism sector have as a priority to promote the recovery of the sector and promote an innovative tourism model based on new models of smart tourism destinations and knowledge-intensive, innovative and new tourism companies. technologies".

The head of tourism has proposed creating an alliance for tourism innovation and knowledge, a meeting place between universities, industry, business associations and public institutions to be able to respond to the new scientific and transformation challenges of tourism in the post-COVID-19 era. “In line with objective 17 of the SDGs (alliances to achieve the objectives), from the Ministry we want to promote an alliance for innovation in the tourism sector that, within the framework of the new tourism strategy, allows aligning the efforts of the tourism industry and technological; promoting public-private cooperation in the definition and financing of innovative initiatives. Within this alliance, in addition to research, the study and teaching of tourism public policies and private tourism management models would be promoted, so that Spain is internationally recognized for its public policies, tourism technology and models. private management ”, highlighted Maroto.

One of the main conclusions that stand out in the report is that the tourism sector has a long way to go to match other sectors of activity in terms of innovation, technological application and extension of knowledge to maintain and increase the leadership that Spain enjoys at the level international. In the same way, it points out that the Spanish regions have before them the opportunity to promote common cooperation frameworks for the development of specific actions to promote innovation in the tourism sector that they should take advantage of.

Thus, the document highlights that the strong transversality of the tourism sector allows promoting a map of tourism innovation for the incorporation of complementary technologies with the growing needs of the market, for example, from areas such as ICTs, the environment, design , agribusiness, infrastructures, technologies oriented to cultural heritage, building technologies, passenger transport and logistics, technologies oriented to gastronomic tourism and those related to health tourism.

It also contemplates that, from the perspective of technologies, the main challenge of Spanish tourism is to establish synergies and joint actions oriented to the concept of Smart Tourist Destination (ITD), in interaction with the work program developed by the Secretary of State for Tourism to through SEGITTUR and within the framework of the activities of the Smart Tourist Destinations Network and within the new Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2030 and the Modernization and Competitiveness Plan of the tourism sector defined within the framework of the European Recovery Funds.

The document points out a set of barriers to innovation identified by the sector, including access to finance, scarcity of own funds and public subsidies, difficulties in finding partners to cooperate in their activities, market dominance by part of established companies, as well as difficulties in recruiting qualified personnel.
Finally, the study also includes the detail of value chains for each of the autonomous communities. A representation of the commercial relations of the tourist sectors with the rest of the sectors of the regional economies.

The full report is available at

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