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Experts have agreed that there is a great change accelerated by the digital transformation to which the media must adapt

Destination 21 Congress addresses the changes in tourism communication and information in real time

02 December 2021
Congreso Destino 21 Turismo y periodismo

The National Congress of Tourism and Journalism, Destination 21 has addressed in its afternoon session the changes in tourism communication and information in real time in two working groups in which prominent professionals of tourism information have participated.
In the first one, moderated by the CEO of Edipress and Miradas Viajeras, Fernando Valmaseda, the changes in the model in tourism communication were analyzed, a table in which Pau García Solbes, journalist and travel blogger, took part; Juan Daniel Núñez, editor of SmartTravelNews; Cristina Candel, photojournalist for Viajar magazine, and Ángela Gonzalo del Moral, specialized journalist for TVE and RNE.
Valmaseda has reflected on the digital transformation “and where it can lead us because he” has said “it is a very broad term that affects destinations, companies and those who do tourist communication”. At that point he stressed that the "commitment and talent" of the tourism sector is what has made "us a world benchmark", although he remarked that the digital transformation is causing "a new way of communicating that represents a brutal change."
Pau García Solbes stressed for his part that the pandemic has "accelerated the digitization process" and increased the role of social networks. For this reason, he has opined that the communicator "must be good at these channels to reach his audience" and has insisted that, in effect, there has been a change in tourism communication in which "new tools charge more and more strength". "The blog is the essential and central part of the work, but it is no longer conceived without the support of social networks", he added.
He has also considered that the world of tourist communication "is not on the verge of its resistance, but it is in the face of a great change" for which he has opted to "look at the places where things are done well and not do so much victimization either ”.
Cristina Candel also agreed that there has been a "great change" in tourism communication and pointed out that the audience "wants less preciousness and more reality."
Juan Daniel Núñez, for his part, has outlined the "important role" of the media, but warned that "models change and you have to adapt and change with them." He has also regretted that in tourist communication "there are those who do it wonderfully, but they are exceptions."
Finally, Angela Gonzalo del Moral, has also stated that "networks are changing communication", although she clarified that on many occasions it has not evolved so much. "I don't see much difference between a radio show and a podcast," she has indicated.
Before concluding the discussion table, Fernando Valmaseda urged to make "shorter and more attractive press releases and appropriate to each medium" so that it would be "much more positive to select the media based on the story you want to tell or transmit ”.
At the second and last table Javier García Antón, former director of the Diario del Altoaragón has moderated a debate on real-time information in which Manuel Campo Vidal, journalist and communication professor, Eva Ballarín, from Tourism & Horeca industry and Manel Pérez, deputy director and journalist specialized in economics at La Vanguardia.
The latter has defended the role of the press as a provider of good information to young audiences. In that sense, he has clarified that the main audience "is already through the internet, which is where we are most read from".
He has also considered, with respect to tourism, that the sector must "generate a discourse that achieves the complicity of the rest of the city", something that he added, "in Barcelona is still to be resolved."
For effective tourism communication, it has meant the importance of tourism intelligence and big data “which has to go much further into tourism to detect where the core of travelers who must come to our country is, not only because of the sun and the beach. The specificity, the uniqueness of many inland towns is something that will attract many customers. We have a country with possibilities, prepared people and with a tourist tradition that makes me see the future with hope ”.
Manuel Campo Vidal has influenced the role of the written press "which is important, although it goes backwards", but has urged "not to consider the traditional media such as radio or television for dead" and has cited as an illustrative example "what what has happened with the La Palma volcano ”and the treatment carried out by Canarian television that has deserved an 'Ondas' award. To conclude, he highlighted the "vital role played by the media in the provinces."
The table ended with Eva Ballarín who emphasized that the consumer of tourist information wants "that there is no information bias or manipulation" and addressed the paper media to indicate that "they have a great opportunity if they understand that tourism has more economic and social impact than a group of companies can have ”.