Calella has completed a reflection process on the challenges and opportunities that the so-called "smart destinations" can offer for the competitive improvement of its tourism sector, to the benefit of both visitors and residents.
Today, the mayor of Calella, Montserrat Candini, the deputy councilor responsible for Communication and New Technologies Areas, Lorena Sànchez, and the partner-director of Vivential Value, Rafael González, have presented the roadmap for the city to become a smart tourist destination.
For the past year, the communication, new technologies and tourism team of the City of Calella, with the collaboration of the company Vivential Value, have worked with the aim of defining a "smart" model adapted to the specific needs and the current status of the city's tourism. The mayor of Calella, Montserrat Candini, recalled that Calella has more than two million overnight stays per year and this implies "redefining the model of tourism management using technology".
As the deputy councilor responsible for the areas of Communication and New Technologies, Lorena Sànchez, explained, a smart tourist destination, is a "territory accessible to everyone that makes use of innovation and guarantees the development of three important areas such as: economic, socio-cultural and environmental". In addition, the councilor added that "this project must contribute to improving the visitor experience but also without forgetting to improve the quality of life of the locals”.
The partner director of Vivential Value, Rafael González, highlighted Calella's courage in defining a strategy as a smart tourist destination: "Calella is a pioneer in designing this type of strategy; it is a courageous and daring decision that will be used to take advantage of the opportunities that the smart tourist destination concept offers as a model of tourism management".
The project, which has also received support from the Barcelona Provincial Council, began with a review of the level of the smart tourism destination concept development in other territories, including practical cases that could potentially be applied or not in a future development within the municipality.
A second stage involved drawing up a detailed assessment of the current state of Calella as a "smart destination", with more than 160 items that analysed different areas such as tourism governance, technology applied to visitor experience, knowledge systems and tourism intelligence, public services, sustainability, mobility, accessibility or tourist marketing.
This phase also had the participation of professionals and citizens of Calella, through participatory actions and in-depth interviews with sectoral representatives, all of them to incorporate a more transversal vision in the process of strategic reflection.
Finally, the project has made it possible to define a road map proposal with more than 40 actions encompassed in 12 projects and 6 thematic subjects, which should be the basis for the progressive implementation of actions that allow the improvement of the tourist experience, the capture of new visitor profiles, the optimization of the promotion actions or the reinforcement of the commitments of economic, sociocultural and environmental sustainability of the municipality.
This project of Calella to become a smart tourist destination was present as a case study within the thematic conference organized by the Open University of Catalonia UOC and the Barcelona Provincial Council on October 31st.