THE MEDITERRANEAN AS A SMART DESTINATION

PANORAMED organised an event on tourism in Italy

NoOn 3-4 December, PANORAMED Italian Country Coordinator (Marche Region) and the co-leader of the Thematic Working Group on Tourism (Tuscany Region) organised the event “The Mediterranean as a SMART destination. No more clichés”. Held in Livorno, it was attended by multiple stakeholders from the tourism sector. Its main topics for discussion were the lengthening of the season in coastal areas and the management of tourist flows, with particular attention to the use of data (both traditional and big data) for the construction of tourism strategies.

Participants were welcomed by Stefano Ciuoffo (Tuscany Region’s Regional Minister for Tourism), who explained that the analysis of tourist flows should not be dispersed, and how often tools are not sufficient. For his part, moderator Francesco Tapinassi (Manager in charge of the Tourism, Trade and Services Sector of Tuscany Region) reaffirmed the importance of transforming results into political change and investing in the creation continuous and standardized monitoring, based on precise objectives.

During the panel Data Driven Destinations, participants concluded that mainstreaming is a key issue that should be developed from the beginning of each project as the main aggregator of policymakers capable of changing tourism policies. As far as data and digitization are concerned, progress is being made but it is not yet possible to have up-to-date and accurate data to develop a qualified knowledge.

In the panel Coalition for Destination, participants analysed the seasonality of European destinations by typology. They discussed different methodologies to promote various Italian regions and diversify the tourism offer, enhancing what already exists on the territory or creating something new involving the public and private sectors. They also stressed the importance of investing in empowerment, which typically happens where managers have financial and marketing training and the ability to understand the value of empowerment itself.

Natalino Barbizzi (Marche Region) opened the second day of the event underlining how the PANORAMED umbrella can help the Italian partners in the new Strategic Projects on Tourism SMART MED (Empower Mediterranean for SMART Tourism) and BEST MED (Beyond European Sustainable tourism MED Path) to improve their deliverables and establish a permanent working group at national level. Participants used this  occasion to share relevant inputs from PANORAMED project, the Strategic Projects by the Italian Project Partner (with Lazio, Calabria, Valle d’Aosta and Puglia Regions) and the upcoming Horizontal Project on tourism (with ArcoLatino). All projects are co-financed by the Interreg MED Programme.