Data-driven stimulation and management of rural tourism flows
Summary of the entity:
Instituto Tecnológico de Informática (ITI) is a Research & Technology centre specialized in ICT, located in Valencia, Spain. ITI research and innovation activity is developed by a team of 200 highly-skilled researchers and technicians, focused on 6 key digital enablers around the Data Cycle: Cyber connectivity, Cyber-Physical Systems, Computing Infrastructures & Platforms, Big Data Analytics, Optimization Technologies, and Artificial Intelligence. All this knowledge and experience is brought to the industrial and public sector through a range of services: Access to infrastructure and technology platforms, Access to specialist expertise on digitisation & applications, Collaborative research for Industry needs, Demonstration of best practices, Training and Education, Showcase technologies in pilot factories, and Support experimentation in real-life environments.
ITI provides a Big Data Space offering infrastructure, tools and data for research and experimentation with Big Data Technologies, which has been awarded with the BDVA i-Space Silver label and is a key infrastructure for the Data Cycle Hub. The Data Cycle Hub (DCH, https://thedatacyclehub.com) is the reference one-stop shop DIH in the Valencia region to foster data driven and artificial intelligence-based innovation. The objective is to bridge the gap between research and industry, specifically SMEs, providing innovative solutions and services that require advanced data analytics, automatic learning and artificial intelligence. The DCH is one of the 3 Spanish members of the European Network of Artificial Intelligence DIHs (https://ai-dih-network.eu), and was one of the 5 finalists to the DIHNET DIH Champions Challenge 2019.
Summary of the challenge:
Stakeholders: Inland tourist destinations, Experience providers, Transport operators, Tourists
In inland and/or rural regions, tourism constitutes an important lever for economic development and growth, often articulated around local gastronomy, farming, culture (arts and crafts), and outdoor/nature activities. Attracting tourism to inland or rural regions instead of traditional sun/beach destinations, has been a traditional challenge to break seasonality and create synergies with other activities.
However, attracting tourism to rural regions needs to be carefully managed to be sustainable, since this kind of destinations are more susceptible to the negative impacts of over tourism than for instance, the urban destinations. This is because the rural points of interest, such as natural areas, cultural heritage sites, or landscapes are very vulnerable and can be easily degraded due to unbalanced tourism. And similarly, local communities can suffer a loss of identity and authenticity when coping with high visitor volumes.
This challenge looks for data-driven solutions that:
- stimulate or attract tourism to inland/rural areas; and
- supports to better manage tourism and visitor flows at inland/rural destinations.
On the one hand, to stimulate tourism to inland/rural areas, the need from tourist destinations and service providers is to identify the major points of interest, their main traits or characteristics, and link them with nearby tourism services (experiences, restaurants, accommodations), and other less-known points of interest. The goal is to help connect people with more information, people and experiences, more quickly than before. Tourists will have more information about linked points of interest and services, so they could better plan their stay; whereas service providers will benefit from greater visibility.
On the other hand, it is also needed that the proposed solution supports the deployment of sustainable tourism, in terms of balancing the Tourism demand vs the offer. The solution should be able to provide information of expected tourist flows in a given period, in a certain area or for a type of tourism product. The goal is that destination owners, tourism service providers, and tourists themselves, have access to relevant information that could let them to avoid congestions and receive better quality of service . For instance, the offer side can use dynamic pricing mechanisms to spread demand in peak periods, or schedule visits to better manage visitor numbers at environmentally or culturally sensitive sites. From the demand side, the tourists can use the provided information to better plan their future trip according to expected demand, or reschedule it to less-crowded sites when once in the area.
Different Tourism datasets from the Valencia region are provided, which could be combined together to build and demonstrate a realistic Data Value Chain prototype in the context of the Valencia region.
REACH Data Providers
Play & Go: Different apps available bringing outdoor, gamified sightseeing guides in inland cities (Alborache, Villa de Planes, Chelva, Cocentaina, Aras, Titaguas, Benagéber, …) or rural regions of the Valencia region (Maestrazgo, Alto Turia, La Costera, Utiel-Requena). The dataset Maestrat&Go provides mobility and user experience, including userID, date, point of interest, geoposition, objectives (check-ins done in that point of interest), and ratings.
JOT Internet Media: Keyword statistics in marketing campaigns focused on user interest in regional tourism. This dataset, when filtered appropriately, reflects the impact of marketing campaigns in the Tourism sector with relevance to the Valencia region and specifically, their inland cities or rural regions (e.g. historic villages in Castellon, cultural heritage in Valencia, nature experiences in Alicante, …). It shows the main interests and trends of people aiming to travel or visit Valencia region in the coming period, therefore they may be used to support decisions making by predicting people displacement or means of transport management.
External Data Provider:
Turisme Comunitat Valenciana – INVAT.TUR: Different tourism datasets covering the Region of Valencia, filtered for inland and rural regions. Data provided covers: mentions in social networks for different points of interest, per month, for different product categories (active, cuisine, nature, wellness, culture, sun&fun, familiar). Other data that could be considered is: product satisfaction for major tourism product categories, gender and age distribution, country/region of origin per product, etc.
Open source datasets:
Valencia Region data portal, including tourism data and others http://www.dadesobertes.gva.es/es/dataset
IDEV Infraestructura Valenciana de Dades Espacials. Cartographic map from the Valencia region, with a catalogue of different points of interest (rural areas, culture and leisure, tourism) which could be used to identify and geoposition different points of interest with nearby experiences, accomodations, restaurants, etc. https://icv.gva.es/auto/aplicaciones/icv_geocat/#/?lang=eng
Open Street map: Collaborative resource that includes several points of interest from different regions (including Valencia region) that can be considered https://www.openstreetmap.org/search?query=valencia#map=11/39.4227/-0.3525
Public catalogue of Valencia tourism companies: Catalogue of tourism companies from the Valencia region with experience products. Includes catalogue of Rural accommodations, Campings, Active Tourism companies.
Spain open data portal, including tourism data and others https://datos.gob.es/en/catalogo?theme_id=turismo
- Tool mapping inland/rural points of interests together, and with different tourism services, using information from different datasets
- Tool providing information of expected (and/or near real-time) tourist flows in rural areas and major points of interest, to balance the offer and demand and avoid over tourism and peaks.
- Better knowledge and solutions to increase the maturity of Smart Destinations in inland and rural regions.
- Tool to identify target customer profiles for non-stationary inland tourism products