Enrique Martínez Marín, Chairman of SEGITTUR, today awarded the Mayor of Guadalajara, Alberto Rojo, the Smart Destination associate designation. Accessibility and sustainability were the categories for which it received its highest marks.
The ceremony was also attended by the councillor for Tourism, Fernando Parlorio, and the minister for Economy, Companies and Employment in the Castile-La Mancha Community Council, Patricia Franco.
The Smart Destinations project is an initiative vigorously promoted by the Secretary of State for Tourism to contribute towards making Spanish destinations more competitive.
Guadalajara received the designation following the production of a diagnostic report, which assesses over 400 requirements of Smart Destination methodology, divided into five categories: governance, innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility.
The diagnostic report shows that Guadalajara has received a score of 50.3%, meaning that it is undertaking the process of becoming a Smart Destination with half the journey already completed. Its work in sustainability is already very advanced, receiving a score of 65.2% thanks to initiatives such as its urban planning, mobility plan, selective waste collection system and promotion of recycling.
It received its second highest score of 63.6% for accessibility, with actions such as existing technological solutions to facilitate the experiences of tourists or residents, as well as the comprehensive boost given to accessibility which has resulted in Guadalajara being considered an accessible tourist destination.
In terms of governance, Guadalajara possesses a management body and demonstrates excellent public-private collaboration. However, it still has a way to go, needing increased resources in the area and the design of a tourist strategy plan, as well as alignment with the Smart Destination categories.
In technology, noteworthy initiatives include its Smart City development project based on city management platform and sensors, although the destination has been encouraged to improve its advertising portal, boost use of social media and develop an online commercialisation strategy. In innovation, the road map created through the diagnostic report suggests that the destination should encourage innovative entrepreneurship in tourism and strengthen training in this area.
According to the Chairman of SEGITTUR, the work Guadalajara has performed to become a Smart Destination “Represents an investment in the development of sustainable tourism and brings with it a series of benefits, including an enhancement of the destination through innovation and technology, increased competitiveness, improved efficiency, higher quality stays for visitors and a better quality of life for residents.”
The mayor of Guadalajara, Alberto Rojo, has meanwhile stated that “This designation reflects the city’s commitment to making better use of tourist resources to become not only more competitive, but also more intelligent in transforming tourist activity into a driver of responsible economic development.” He thanked the Spanish Government and the Secretary of State for Tourism for their “Investment in these networks of tourist destinations, which are becoming a fundamental tool for cities which already have significant potential.”