SEGITTUR, together with the Secretary of State for Tourism, the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE) and in collaboration with members of the Smart Destinations Network, has created a solutions guide for beaches and bathing areas during COVID-19, designed to answer questions regarding the management of capacities, tourist information and health security.
In summer 2020, following one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, Spanish destinations prepared to offer visitors a safe tourism experience, introducing measures which will definitely be repeated in summer 2021, given how useful they proved to be.
The situation resulting from COVID-19 has forced destinations to adapt to a new reality with its own challenges, among them the need to guarantee safer environments in terms of health and hygiene. In this context, it was and remains necessary to focus on issues such as social distancing, reduced physical contact, calculating capacities for tourist resources, etc.
Managing capacities, information and health security
The Guide has put together and categorised 17 solutions which some of the destinations forming part of the Smart Destinations Network have implemented in their areas. These solutions are divided into three categories: capacity management, tourist information and health security, and are based on the use of innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things.
The suggested solutions to manage capacities include limiting access, dividing beaches into sections, reservation systems, people-counting sensors, artificial intelligence-enabled cameras, drones, safe-beach apps and data management platforms.
Among the measures for improving health security are tourism quality seals, disinfection booths and dispensers of hand gel and masks, while for tourist information, suggestions include COVID-19 manuals, QR codes, digital communications and environmental educators.
Destinations taking part
The destinations that have taken part in producing the Guide include Santa Susanna, San Sebastián, Palma, Finestrat, Conil de la Frontera, Benidorm, Fuengirola, Salou, Puerto del Rosario, Santander, Marbella and Barbate.
Santander City Council has invested in a wide range of technological solutions to respond to the demands of bathing areas. One of the most noteworthy of these was the installation of people-counting sensors at access points, which were able to differentiate between people entering and leaving. The sensors used a 3D vision system which made calculations in real time and sent them to the Smart City platform.
In Salou, 22 smart cameras with Deep Learning technology were installed to cover as many bathing areas as possible. These cameras cover 150 metres and are used solely to count people. This information can be viewed on the “Platges Salou cat” platform, where visitors and residents can check the occupation levels of beaches in real time.
Conil de la Frontera is another area making use of technology, with Artificial Intelligence-enabled drones able to provide the managing body with information about the occupation levels of beaches.
Disinfection booths using UV rays have also been used in certain destinations, ensuring users’ belongings are fully disinfected.
The Guide is available on the SEGITTUR website: https://bit.ly/3guvM5o