SEGITTUR, part of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of the Spanish Government through the State Secretariat for Tourism, is responsible for fostering innovation (R&D) and new technologies in the Spanish tourism industry, both in the public sphere (new models and channels for promotion, management and creation of smart destinations, etc.) and in the private sphere (supporting entrepreneurs, new sustainable and more competitive management models, exportation of Spanish tourism technology, etc.).
In this respect, SEGITTUR has devoted special interest to fostering cooperation agreements with different public bodies and private companies, through which knowledge is shared in projects and initiatives where new technologies and innovation play a leading role.
The target audience with which these cooperation agreements are undertaken within the tourism sector is very extensive, as it includes, among others, the tourism departments of autonomous regions, local councils, public bodies, universities, associations, product clubs, private firms, entities, investors, project incubators and innovation centres.
There are two SDGs that SEGITTUR contributes to through this best practice:
SDG 17: The aim of these cooperation agreements between SEGITTUR and different public and private entities of the tourism sector is to share knowledge and to join forces for the benefit of tourism.
SDG 9: Given the nature of SEGITTUR, innovation and new technologies are essential, as these enhance the sector’s competitiveness.
With the goal of fostering cooperation between administrations, a technological transfer exchange platform named Comparte Iniciativas (“Share Initiatives”) was created for tourism material, to enable the different administrations to work together to reduce costs, to share knowledge in order to benefit the sector.
The signing of the cooperation agreements is in itself a good practice, since it enables the introduction of numerous actions to benefit the tourism sector that vary based on the type of body or association involved.
In this respect, it must be stressed that the purpose of the agreements is to establish cooperation channels to exchange experience and knowledge that affect the various subsectors and aspects of tourism.
The signing of these agreements entails a number of actions, including developing joint research projects and projects for the transfer of knowledge to the productive sector, fostering research, teaching courses and seminars, exchanging experiences and sharing projects on new technologies and innovation, participating together in international calls for proposal and stimulating entrepreneurship.
Depending on the nature of the association with which the agreement is signed, certain actions are customized such as the design of accessible tourism plans, support to the collective of tourist entrepreneurs, the promotion of the development of smart tourism destinations, etc.
A total of ten autonomous regions signed up to the Comparte Iniciativas platform, namely the regions of Valencia, Murcia, La Rioja, Extremadura, Castille and León, Galicia, Navarra, Zaragoza, Cantabria and the Balearic Islands.
The projects that the various regions shared on the platform include the Hermes marketing and distribution platform developed by the Murcia region, the Travel Open Apps platform developed by the region of Valencia, and a pioneering software developed in the region of Galicia aimed at improving the management of small hotels.
The results obtained from the cooperation agreements are very heterogeneous and include:
Plus there are many more actions that it would be impossible to list, due to their number and variety.
We have an opportunity we must not waste, such as that offered by the tourism sector, in which Spain is a world leader, and in which each day it is essential to foster public-private cooperation for the benefit of the sector, as this cooperation is key to improving Spain’s competiveness as a tourist destination. This we can only do if we are united.