Gijón City Council (Xixón in Asturian) today received the Smart Destination designation following assessment by SEGITTUR, in accordance with the Secretary of State for Tourism’s Smart Destination methodology.
The designation, awarded by the Chairman of SEGITTUR, Enrique Martínez Marín, to the mayor of Gijón, Ana González, recognises its compliance with the methodology, based on five categories (governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability) and over 400 indicators.
“The awarding of this seal of excellence in tourism management significantly reinforces everything we want to strengthen, convey and improve in a model we have been working on for many years,” explained Ana González. “It has come at the perfect time, during a particularly difficult year for the sector when we most need to boost confidence in our own possibilities, faced with the enormous impact of the health crisis we are living through,” she concluded.
The Chairman of SEGITTUR congratulated Gijón for its efforts and dedication, and highlighted that “Being a Smart Destination will add value to the destination, bringing with it increased competitiveness and a boost to the destination’s sustainable development while benefiting all its residents.”
The Secretary of State for Tourism is heading the pioneering international Smart Destinations project, supported and managed by SEGITTUR, the objective of which is to implement a new model to improve competitiveness and tourism development based on governance and co-responsibility in tourism.
During the first half of the year, experts from SEGITTUR held meetings with the municipal departments of Tourism, Culture and Museums, Environment, IT, Innovation, Online Communication, Urban Environment (EMULSA), Transparency, Sport, Education, Works and Maintenance, Social Services, Economic Promotion and Employment.
They also met with representatives from the hotel and hospitality sector, the Gijón: Smart City Chair and the Gijón Sustainability Chair, the Conference Centre and other company associations and municipal departments.
Following their analysis, the experts from SEGITTUR concluded that Gijón fully complied with the Smart Destination methodology. The city has obtained a score of over 82%. It received its best results in the sustainability category, followed by technology, governance, innovation and accessibility.
Together with the diagnostic report produced by SEGITTUR, an action plan has been delivered, proposing a series of actions to improve management of the destination within the Smart Destination framework. These actions include the creation of a Smart Destination Management System, the development of a tourism entrepreneurship programme, the design of a digital tourist information office, the launching of a sustainability board for tourism and the boosting of accessibility in the private tourism sector.