Enrique Martínez Marín, SESIAD Advisor at the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, worked as coordinator of the National Plan for Smart Territories, whose purpose is based on improving productivity and competitiveness, modernising the Spanish economy and society, through the use of information technologies by citizens, companies and administrations.
He also holds the position of Chairman of UNE's Technical Committee for Standardisation 178.
He holds the office of President in SEGITTUR Sociedad Mercantil Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas) for the last 5 years.
SEGITTUR is an operator responsible for promoting innovation (R&D&I) in the Spanish tourism sector, capable of contributing to the development, modernisation and maintenance of a leading tourism industry through technological innovation.
How has technology applied to tourism advanced over the last four years? Before, there was a lot of talk about wifi, booking centres, experience sentiment and monitoring on social networks, and now about data, platforms, sensors and the National Intelligent Destination Platform. How does Segittur contribute to the modernisation of Spanish tourism?
In recent years, a transformation of the tourism sector has been taking place, in which technology has played a decisive role in responding to the needs that have been detected. An example of this was the situation created in the tourism sector during the pandemic, where situations arose that were resolved with technological solutions such as QR codes, capacity controls, etc. But not only that, in recent years, we have gone from talking about specific solutions such as those mentioned above to global solutions, as is the case of the Intelligent Destination Platform or the Tourism Intelligence System.
In this process, and thanks to the European Next Generation funds and the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), the Secretary of State for Tourism, through the SEGITTURis developing initiatives that are key in the process of transformation and modernisation of the tourism sector such as the Smart Destination Platform and the Tourism Intelligence System, an initiative recently awarded by CNIS.
What will the Intelligent Destination Platform bring to Spanish destinations and how will it transform the experience of tourists in Spain, and the capabilities of tourism companies?
The IDP will address many of the common challenges faced by destinations. The aim is to develop the country's smart tourism ecosystem. In addition, we have a Tourism Intelligence System which will make it possible to offer dashboards to all destinations connected to the platform, key information for having a better understanding of tourists and their needs. The IDP will allow small destinations that do not have technological capabilities to have services on a par with large destinations, which is a great opportunity. It is a unique project in the world and will provide the country with a technological infrastructure that will allow digitalisation to spread throughout the sector. Finally, I would like to stress that this Platform is the result of a co-creation process involving the main players in the sector.
What is the role and relevance of the Smart Destinations Network, what are the main initiatives being promoted through the network to ensure technological and sustainable development in tourism?
The Smart Destinations Network is a tool at the service of the implementation of the Smart Tourist Destinations model and an initiative of the Secretary of State for Tourism to promote the exchange of experiences and knowledge that will contribute to the smart development of tourist destinations
Within the DTI Network, intense work is carried out, including working groups linked to issues of interest to the members, elaboration of good practice guides, publications of interest and training webinars, among others.
For example, within the Network we have a working group on rural tourism, which deals with the tourism sustainabilitywith initiatives such as the creation of tourism experiences linked to the primary sector.
In relation to technology, we have a catalogue of technological solutions, which help destinations in their process of digital transformation.
In addition, Segittur has designed a Model of Innovation in the Tourist Destination. What is this Model about and how does it promote the development of the sector?
The Secretariat of State for Tourism, through SEGITTUR, has developed the Smart Destinations model which aims to contribute to ?improving the competitiveness ?of tourist destinations and ?the quality of life of their residents ?by focusing on five areas of action: governance, innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility.
At present, more than one hundred Spanish destinations have been assessed by SEGITTUR with this methodology, which has also aroused interest in Latin America, where we have also worked in Colombia, Paraguay, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
And with regard to the collection and analysis of data, which are key to improving decision-making; what can you tell us about SEGITTUR's "Tourism Intelligence System"?
The Tourism Intelligence System SITwhich has received the CNIS award, is technologically based on a Big Data platform.?in mode?, which studies, incorporates and analyses different sources of information and makes them available to the tourism sector.
The system collects, organises and analyses different sources of information, producing dashboards and dynamic reports adapted to the user's needs, as well as making it possible to download the information. The TIS facilitates access to and dissemination of knowledge, contributing to improving planning processes. strategic planning of the whole sector, including specific tourism destinations. By improving tourism measurement and monitoring capabilities, it facilitates better informed strategic decision-making by tourism stakeholders and operators.
Do you consider public-private collaboration a fundamental factor in the development of Smart Cities for smart tourism?
Public-private collaboration is key. For the creation of the Smart Destination Platform, a Promoting Body has been set up, in which the public and private sectors participate, as it is essential to be connected in order to find solutions to the challenges presented by tourism in general, and smart tourism in particular.
Nowadays, the tourism model is often questioned from a sustainability point of view. How would you say you are ensuring that the digitalisation and innovation of the tourism sector is aligned with the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs)?
The smart destinations model was based on different national and international recommendations and evaluation systems, including the UN's Agenda 2030.
The SDGs may seem at first glance to be very broad and ambitious goals, but a closer look at each of the goals associated with them facilitates the identification of actions that can be carried out in each area of tourism management to achieve them.
This is precisely the work we have carried out at SEGITTUR, to identify the relationship between each requirement of the DTI methodology and the ODSThere are many examples of the relationship between them. Thus, meeting the requirements of an SDG contributes directly or indirectly to achieving many of the targets of the 17 SDGs. We can highlight some specific examples such as Goal 4 "Quality education" and its target 4.7 "Acquire the necessary knowledge to promote sustainable development", which is directly a requirement of the ITD methodology, "promote training programmes on sustainable tourism development in the destination, its management body and the private sector".
Finally, do you think that the good future development of destinations is linked to destination intelligence and smart cities?
Without a doubt, the smart destination model is based on that of Smart Cities. Smart cities and destinations share a city and territory design in which technology forms an intrinsic part of the model: in data collection, in information management and in the implementation of measures that seek a more efficient use of resources and a better quality of life for the people who live and travel in these spaces. The transformation of the territory into a smart destination promises, firstly, the generation of more accurate, continuous and updated information on fundamental aspects in the management of cities and destinations.