The province of Huelva has received the Smart Destination designation after being assessed with the Secretary of State for Tourism’s Smart Destination methodology, through SEGITTUR, obtaining an average 37% degree of compliance on the five Smart Destination model categories.
It is the first time that SEGITTUR has applied the smart destination methodology to a whole province, as has been the case with Huelva with a total of 79 municipalities, where tourism represents 9.8% of the province’s GDP and 30.3% of its territory is protected natural space, with such iconic parks as the Doñana National Park.
The Director of Institutional Relations (IR) at SEGITTUR, Víctor Badorrey, presented the Smart Destination designation to the President of the Provincial Council of Huelva, María Eugenia Limón.
The Smart Destinations project is an initiative backed by Spain’s State Secretariat for Tourism through SEGITTUR, to prepare tourist destinations for the challenges of the future and help them convert to a new model based on Governance, Innovation, Technology, Sustainability and Accessibility.
After the diagnostic report carried out by SEGITTUR, the province of Huelva receives this designation with an average compliance score of 37.1% of the total requirements in the Smart Destination methodology. In other words, the destination has already made a good start on its path to becoming a Smart Destination, and therefore isn’t starting this stage of the transformation process from scratch, as this stretch of the roadmap has already been accomplished.
The conversion to smart destination implies reassessing the destination through innovation and technology, contributing to the improvement of competitiveness and promoting sustainable development, both environmentally as well as in the social-cultural sphere, and at the same time improving the tourist experience and the quality of life of the destination’s residents. In addition to all of this is the dynamism of the territory, ensuring positive effects in the medium and long term.
The key area with the highest degree of compliance is Sustainability with 58.8%. This is followed by the key areas of Governance (44.3%), Innovation (30.7%), Accessibility (28.2%) and Technology (23.4%).
The roadmap proposed by SEGITTUR includes the creation of a smart tourist destination management system, the boosting of the provincial innovation strategy, the promotion and use of ICTs in the destination’s tourism marketing, as well as water cycle improvements and the fostering of sustainable tourism.