Belén Hidalgo Ferrer, innovation project manager, in charge of developing technological platforms and tourism intelligence systems and team coordinator.
Speaker and trainer in quality, innovation, digitalisation, ICTs and food safety, as well as an agricultural engineer by profession and auditor of the third part of food safety protocols.
He is currently a member of the team at the Instituto de Turismo de la Región de Murcia, the economic development agency of the region's autonomous community, responsible for boosting the business fabric by promoting competitiveness, innovation and productivity, with a focus on SMEs. Its functions include technological development, internationalisation, consultancy, access to European funds and financing for entrepreneurs.
It aspires to be a point of reference for companies, to promote a new production model based on competitiveness and innovation, and to be a close and committed administration.
Nexo, a technological ecosystem for the digital transformation of the tourism sector in the Murcia Region
Technology has played a fundamental role in the development and improvement of the tourism sector, especially as a consequence of the pandemic, which has generated profound changes in the consumption habits of travellers and has made it necessary to redefine the tourism governance model.
The Region of Murcia has been very conscious of the need to promote the process of digital transformation of the tourism sector, by investing since 2015 in the development of technological projects that allow small and medium-sized enterprises to break the digital divide; multiplying the presence of the regional tourism offer in online channels. and provide local administrations with tools for the sustainable governance of their destinations.
From the Institute of Tourism of the Region of Murcia (ITREM), we would highlight three main lines of promotion for the application of technology.
Technological projects developed to attract demand and improve the travel experience.
The HERMES platform is used to facilitate the marketing online of the regional tourist offer in terms of accommodation and complementary services. This platform consists of a Channel Manager for accommodation with integration in 15 international tour operators, a booking engine that allows companies and destinations to have their own marketplace.The website also includes a complementary offer manager, which allows the sale of all types of activities (activities, guided tours, events, and tickets) and a central ticket sales office for events and shows.
Improving the tourist experience. During the trip, making available Apps with updated information and geopositioning of the main resources, activities and events, with online booking capability. As well as transforming the municipal offices into showcases of the destination's offer with their transformation into 21st Century Tourism Offices of the Region, through the RITMO platform, a network that has been consolidated as a national reference and will undoubtedly lead to a leap in the competitiveness of the destination and an improvement in the visitor's experience.
Commitment to data-driven strategic decision-making
Thanks to the use of massive data sources known as Big Data, it is now possible to access tourism information. in real time. This provides companies in the sector with a complete picture of what is happening online. with the destination: from price variation and availability of accommodation, to the reputation of the destination and how it compares to other competing markets. In addition, technology allows companies to adjust their tourism offer to the demands of new touristsbased on data from key upcoming periods. Aware of the importance of data, we are collaborating with technology providers to develop a tourism intelligence system that provides this valuable information in real time.
This is how MOTRIZ was born. Motive is a tool of Business Intelligencewhich collects, measures and analyses tourism data in a simple way, in order to make strategic decisions. It offers the possibility of having in a single application, all the information that a priori, could be necessary for a general knowledge of tourism management in the Region of Murcia and a fundamental tool for Smart Tourist Destinations.
Data obtained through webscraping techniques and integration of apis from the main online tour operators and travel agencies, the INE, Dataestur, Social Security, and social media monitoring platforms, as well as information derived from GDS and multiple other sources.
MOTRIZ, a tool for the general knowledge of tourism management in the Region of Murcia
This information, processed through Motriz and analysed by Business Intelligence tools, has been incorporating new indicators and data that are providing real-time information, not only at the moment, but also on the evolution of the indicators in the coming months and the generation of predictive models.
A tourism intelligence system that is shared with all the agents of the sector through the DTI Smart Office Region of Murcia, a web portal open to the public, results from the analysis and cross-referencing of the information gathered by ITREM through its platforms and the Big Data sources of the Region of Murcia. digital footprint of the regional tourism sector and tourists.
Smart Tourism Destination as a model of sustainable tourism governance
The objective of turning regional destinations into Smart Destinationhas marked the strategic planning of the digital transformation in the tourism sector in the Region of Murcia. It is worth noting that it was the first autonomous community to have a Regional Strategic Plan for the Smart Tourism Destination in 2015, in collaboration with the Sociedad Mercantil Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas (Segittur) and the Escuela de organización Industrial (EOI).
And through the collaboration protocol signed in 2020, the Institute of Tourism of the Region of Murcia (ITREM) becomes the coordinator of the implementation of this model at regional level, constituting the Smart Tourism Destinations Board, a consultative body designed to promote the implementation of collaborative projects on sustainability, governance, tourism intelligence, accessibility and technology among the regional DTI destinations.
At present, 21 destinations are members of the DTI National Network and 9 destinations have started the diagnosis: Murcia, Caravaca, Los Alcázares, Águilas, San Javier, Mula, Cieza, Alcantarilla and Mancomunidad de Sierra Espuña.
And in order to support municipalities in complying with the technological requirements requested by the Smart Tourist Destinations model, in 2015 the following was created NEXOThe e-Destination Platform of the Region of Murcia, conceived as a common space between the central administration, local administrations and the private sector, to share knowledge and information, with the following objectives:
- Improve the competitiveness of enterprises.
- Joining forces for the promotion, marketing and management of the destination.
- To have technological tools for the collection of data on the destination at local level, which can be exploited with a regional vision.
- Create a homogeneous framework to facilitate the incorporation of innovations in regional tourist destinations, providing them with technology, promoting sustainable development and the generation of tourist experiences and promoting their transformation to the Smart Tourist Destinations model.
The NEXO platform brings together all the technological tools developed by ITREM.
The platform Nexus thus becomes the umbrella which brings together all the technological tools developed by ITREM to promote this technology.igital transformation of the tourism sector.
Receiving the award at FITUR 2019 ITH Smart Destinations Awards for the best governance platform for Smart Tourism Destinations.
It should be noted that Nexo hosts multiple functionalities, with special relevance to the RITMO tool, the management platform of the Network of Tourist Offices of the Region of Murcia, and constitutes the single database (CMS) of all tourist resources and events in the Region.
In this way, it has been achieved that the actors themselves are the ones who keep the regional tourism information up to date and, as it is a standard and homogeneous system for entering data, these can be reused and disseminated in multiple showcases.
It also allows the collection of statistics and satisfaction data from the users of the tourist offices and the publication of the regional agenda of tourist events, which brings together the tourist events of the 35 municipalities integrated in the Network.
This involves the collection of data on 5500 updated tourism resources and more than 2000 events published annually in the agenda. As well as the availability of 29 Open Data Services published in the regional and state open data portal (datosabiertos.regiondemurcia.es and datos.gob.es).
In conclusion, the construction over the years of this ecosystem of technological platforms has allowed us to increase our positioning in the market. online of the Region of Murcia destination in close collaboration with local businesses and administrations and to position the 45 municipalities of the Region before the great challenge of integration with the Intelligent Country Platform.