Tourism and Entertainment

Description of the DVC THEME

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism was one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world economy, with 10% of global GDP and a $9 trillion value in 2019, according to WTTC. In the OECD area, Tourism plays a key role in economic activity in terms of jobs (5.9% employment), export revenues (21.3% service exports), and value (4.1% GDP). However, COVID-19 caused a huge crisis for the tourism industry, with a 65% dropping in arrivals during the first half of the year, being Southern Mediterranean Europe being one of the areas with the largest declines (73%) and putting at severe risk millions of jobs and SMEs. This showcased the important role that tourism played in several economies, but also the need to accelerate its digital transformation and foster innovation, with sustainability at its core. 

Hence, for tourism to recover and maintain its important role, not only health safety needs to be enhanced but also security needs to be guaranteed. Among different possible barriers to impend the progress of tourism, due to climate change, weather events are becoming more and more frequent and can lead to emergency situations in cities and tourist sites. It is, therefore, advisable that civil protection departments take into account the possible impacts of tourism (whose volume and spatial distribution varies over time) in the planning, sizing, and distribution of their emergency teams to ensure a Smart and Safe Tourism Destination. 

Data analytics and AI are technologies that could bring important benefits to relaunch and modernize the sector, but, if and only if, the Tourism DVCs are developed and exploited. This means that the different service providers, intermediaries, and other stakeholders of the tourism value chain are aligned, which traditionally has been very fragmented. The key challenge is to aggregate data from different sources, convert collected data into valuable knowledge that could be exploited by its stakeholders, and improve the decision-making of destination owners, transport operators, service providers (accommodation, and food- and beverage- serving, experiences), and the tourists. One key issue to be dealt with is that current tourism intelligence systems are based on pre-COVID19 data, so novel approaches are needed to extract value from the combination of existing datasets or from other sources.

Expected global results:

  1. Increase the maturity of Smart Destinations, improving the ability of decision-makers and businesses to learn and adapt to changes, such as emergent market trends or unexpected crises like COVID-19.
  2. Increase the digitization of tourism businesses and their services, facilitating the access of micro-SMEs and SMEs to data-based intelligence solutions.
  3. Contribute to the recovery of the Tourism sector after the COVID-19 crisis, bringing novel tools and digital enablers that could unlock and raise novel data-based business opportunities.  
  4. Contribute to increasing the sustainability of tourist service providers