Monthly sustainability diagnosis service for small municipalities or rural destinations

Application Track:

Theme Driven



Proposed by:


Entity Logo:

Summary of the entity:

The Data Cycle Hub (DCH) is the one-stop reference 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 a member of several DIH networks, such as EUHubs4Data (coordinator), AI DIH Network, DIH4CPS, INNDIH (E-DIH of the Valencia region, coordinator), and was one of the 5 finalists to the DIHNET DIH Champions Challenge 2019 and 2020. The DCH is coordinated by ITI – Instituto Tecnológico de Informática, a Research & Technology center specializing in ICT, located in Valencia, Spain. ITI provides a Big Data Space offering infrastructure, tools, and data for research and experimentation with Big Data Technologies, which has been awarded the BDVA i-Space Silver label and is a crucial infrastructure for the Data Cycle Hub.

This challenge has been defined together INVAT·TUR (Institute of Tourism Technologies of Region of the Valencia), a center conceived as a meeting platform for all agents in the tourism sector and represented one of the main axes in improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the tourism model of the Region of Valencia. The goals are to develop lines of action in R+D+i adapted to the needs of the tourism sector, as well as transfer knowledge to tourism companies and organizations, giving the tourism sector access to the most advanced knowledge, services, and technologies.

Summary of the challenge:

The goal is to develop a new data-based service and tool to evaluate the sustainability index of a small rural municipality (with less than 5000 inhabitants) or destination against past economic development and then to identify the performance of the sustainability measures as well as underutilized resources.


Stakeholders: Investment portfolio companies, Tourist apartment enterprises, Rural associations, Rural facilities owners


Currently, there is an increasing interest, both from the offer and demand side, to invest/provide/consume sustainable touristic services. For instance, the Tourism, Leisure, and Hospitality Law of the Valencia Region has defined a reference framework for the development of tourism in the territory based on sustainability, collaborative environments, ethics and innovation and digitization of the activity. Tourism sustainability should guide actions towards the development of a tourism offer based on the territory, with specific tourism products or segments and with the participation of the local population. Increasing the competitiveness of the tourism sector, avoiding saturation in certain spaces, and taking into account the effects of climate change.

In order to address this, and in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals, INVAT·TUR has developed a manual for the adaptation of tourist destinations to climate change, establishing a framework to put the objectives into practice and provide destinations and companies with instruments doing it, with clear and measurable actions and milestones. However, given that this is an emerging trend, information is lacking about which sustainability measures are actually working or not, and very few tools are available to support tourist destination owners in exploiting and putting value in this information.

The objective of this challenge is to deliver a novel data-based product and/or service that could support stakeholders in making informed decisions on whether or not: (1) to invest in local underutilized resources, and (2) putting in value to these resources. The combination of these two elements could provide a constant flow of opportunities and evaluate the impact of previous investments. Also, it’s important to create new businesses with underused local resources that have been attractive for tourists in other parts of the territory, and also to promote the creation of associations/clusters between different local or global service providers. The focus will be on small rural towns (less than 5000 inhabitants) and rural destinations (e.g. thematic routes involving more than one town).

In order to contribute to achieving this challenge, it is proposed to develop a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool for the self-assessment of the economic impact of sustainability tourism measures on small rural tourist destinations/service providers. This impact would be calculated through two steps. 

In the first step, the tool should facilitate mapping different sustainability variables to let the user identify their strengths and weaknesses. To facilitate the development of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), INVATTUR will facilitate the set of relevant tourism sustainability variables that have been defined for the Valencia region, as well as the sources of data from which several parameters could be obtained, given the name of a city or destination (of the Valencia region). 

Then, in a second step, the tool should provide economic indicators for the city or region under analysis (both historic and estimated future ones), in order to let the user evaluate expected revenues against sustainability measures implemented. 

Overall, the tool should support the user in making decisions on the: 

  • Do the sustainability measures implemented in the village or region have an economic return or not? Are we growing or not?
  • How is my situation (in terms of sustainability coverage) with respect to other similar villages/destinations with similar characteristics (from my region, other regions, or countries)? Am I a lagging or a frontrunner destination?
  • Which degree of investments would have a positive revenue, given the estimated flow of tourists that could come to the village/region? If the estimated volume of tourists coming to my region or nearby is low, the investment level that I should do should be according to the estimated revenues from a % of these tourists. This is of paramount importance for underpopulated areas, for which sustainability measures might require several investments.
  • Which sustainability variables are more relevant for my city/service and which could be clustered with other service providers or villages?

To develop this MVP, the following data and information will be facilitated: data about sustainable Governance and Environmental footprint in the Valencia region; INE_economic_indexes for the Valencia region; TCV_ Ethics and Sustainability_tourist_offer, Digital, Carbon Footprint, TCV_Sustainability_growth.


  • REACH Data Provider: 
    • Turisme Comunitat Valenciana – INVAT.TUR: Different datasets covering the region of Valencia will be provided, under a private agreement with the applicants. Datasets will cover:
    • Actualized poll for best sustainability practices in rural accommodations-related services that have been generated in the Valencia region
    • Credit card income in miles and mobility date
    • Rural Profile visitors (day, i.e. business profile; weekend, i.e. family profile; week, family).
    • Measurement of Digital Carbon Footprint in intelligent territories

    • Open Source datasets: 
      • INE – Spain National Statistics Institute. Includes data such as:
        • National Rural booking statistics (by hotel type and month), ADR and RevPAR rates. 
        • INE Employment and Gender.
        • Measurement of Digital Carbon Footprint by Regions
        • Experimental Statistics: Estimation of tourist accommodation occupancy using data from digital platforms. A wide range of accommodation typologies is included in the scope of these statistics, ranging from holiday dwellings, tourist hostels, rural houses, etc, as well as dwellings for tourist use. It should be used in the estimation of tourist accommodation occupancy using data from digital platforms to avoid apartments.
      • Valencia Region data portal: including tourism data and others
      • Spain open data portal: including tourism data and others

    Expected outcomes:

    At least one of the following should be addressed:

    • Map of rural business good practices and underused resources
    • Map of sustainability opportunities <5000 population cities from the Valencia region
    • SaaS product prototype for establishing and comparing the new business opportunities and an integration system with the daily on-line operations.

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