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The mayor explains the strategy as the first certified DTI in the world and the projects that are currently underway to continue advancing in this field

Benidorm is an example of digitalization applied to tourism in a round table at the Mobile World Congress

26 February 2024
Benidorm es ejemplo de digitalización aplicada al turismo en una mesa redonda del Mobile World Congress

The mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez, participated this Monday in the Mobile World Congress, the largest global event related to mobile technology, which is being held these days in Barcelona. There, Benidorm has been put as an example of digitalization applied to the tourism sector in a round table titled 'Smart tourism and digitalization of destinations', organized by Ágora Telefónica, which thus opened its program of conferences and professional meetings in the year's edition with the that the company begins the events of its centenary, and whose end has coincided with the arrival of King Felipe VI to this stand.

The mayor has described the strategy developed in recent years in Benidorm as the world's first certified smart tourist destination in this round table, in which the executive director of UN Tourism, Natalia Bayona, also participated; the general director of digital transformation of the Region of Murcia, Javier Martínez Gilabert; the business development manager of Telefónica Tech, Carmen Alonso Cañada; the Telefónica Spain process manager, Diego López Román; and the head of Tourism Business Development at Telefónica Spain, Frederic Vieuxmaire, who acted as moderator.

One of the issues that has aroused the most interest in this forum has been knowing the steps taken by Benidorm to go from being a tourist destination of national and international reference for decades to also being a leader in tourist intelligence and digitalization. At this point, Toni Pérez has explained that all the steps have been part of “a strategy that was very clearly marked by the Digital Agenda, aligning us with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals” and that allowed in December 2018 “be certified as the first smart tourist destination in the world by the UNE 178,501 standard.”

“Now we are part and have been an embryo of the DTI network in Spain and we continue to have many projects to continue moving forward,” he recalled.

Among these projects, the mayor has presented the so-called 'Benidorm, Smart and Sustainable Tourist Destination', promoted by the City Council and which has a budget of 4,023,058.74 euros co-financed with FEDER funds through the Red.es entity. “This is a project that aims to continue improving the destination and continue to be leaders and that will be developed around four axes: smart destination management, sustainability and energy efficiency, smart beaches and tourist and resident satisfaction,” Pérez explained. He has also explained that it is made up of seventeen actions "that can be moved to other tourist destinations, especially mature sun and beach destinations with a strong weight of the international market."

The first mayor has insisted that "for Benidorm, is an obligation, as is promoting and developing projects that have environmental, economic, social and technological sustainability as their main points", as will be done in the project. developed together with Red.es, which has Telefónica as a technological partner.

Likewise, Pérez has also referred to other innovative projects, such as the headquarters of the Smart Destinations Platform, which is based in Benidorm and which he has defined as “the great national centre of tourism intelligence”; the use and sensorization of data to improve water or waste management, especially in places that, like Benidorm, multiply their population due to tourism practically every month of the year; or the co-governance and public-private collaboration actions developed in the destination, such as Visit Benidorm Foundation.

Finally, he recalled that the city "is synonymous with effective resource management, job creation and redistribution of wealth", since, despite representing only "1% of the coastline of the Valencian Community and 1 "4% of its population represents 39.96% of the tourist activity that takes place in the region."

Future challenges

In addition to Benidorm, other challenges presented by the digitalization of tourist destinations in the short and medium term have also been addressed during this round table. Among them, the rights, privacy and ethical use of the data obtained from this activity; the connectivity of cities; cybersecurity; or the development of common and harmonized criteria for the sharing and management of data, as well as the technological tools on the market, to advance the digitalization of tourist destinations.

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