The Island of Tenerife today received the Smart Destination designation following assessment by SEGITTUR, in accordance with the Secretary of State for Tourism’s Smart Destination methodology, having earned a compliance score of over 80%.
The Chairman of SEGITTUR, Enrique Martínez Marín, awarded the President of Tenerife, Pedro Martín, the Smart Destination designation, making Tenerife the first island to become a Smart Destination.
Martínez highlighted the work Tenerife has carried out in all categories, achieving a good grade in all of them. “This data demonstrates the destination’s good work,” he said, while expressing his certainty that “This investment in a sustainable development model will contribute towards making it more competitive and improving the lives of residents and the experiences of visitors.”
The President of Tenerife praised the assessment carried out by the company, calling it “clearly positive”, and stated that “It opens doors for us to work in a way in which this Government team plainly trusts since we entered this institution.” He added that it is “essential to undertake this work now”, since while we are working towards the recovery of the sector during the situation we are currently in, we are also working towards a post-COVID era.
“If Tenerife wants to continue to be a serious, seasoned and leading tourist destination, capable of satisfying the requirements of a demanding tourist who needs immediate information and takes it as given that their wish to have a better experience every time they visit us will be met, this is the way forward.” He added that “We must be prepared for the future and become a reference point for the international tourism market.”
The local councillor for Territorial Planning, Heritage and Tourism, José Gregorio Martín Plata, emphasised the work carried out together with Tenerife Tourism through the creation of the new Innovation and Digital Talent department, as well as the other areas of the local government.
The awarding of the designation is the result of having excelled in the analysis performed by the SEGITTUR team, who worked with different areas of the local government over several months and with the public company Tenerife Tourism to assess over 400 indicators linked to the five categories of the Smart Destination model (governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability).
Within the areas analysed, Tenerife received its highest score for technology, with 89%. This was followed by sustainability (85.2%), governance (82.6%), innovation (78.7%) and accessibility (70.6%).
Technology and innovation: drivers for development
In terms of technology, it is worth noting Tenerife’s intensive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the management of public services and the intelligent development of the island to improve quality of life and social well-being for its residents and visitors.
Tenerife has made a large investment in innovation as a driver to make the most of the new challenges it is facing in tourism and in general. Both the local government and Tenerife Tourism have strong innovation departments and management plans which serve as catalysts, supported by the powerful ecosystem of knowledge and research.
Investment in sustainable development
Regarding sustainability, Tenerife has opted to preserve its heritage, from cultural and artistic to natural and environmental, and to encourage economic and social sustainability in the destination, above all in supporting the local economy and well-being of residents and visitors.
In relation to governance, its creation of boards for sustainability and innovation stands out, as well as the project to launch the Island Tourism Council advisory body. According to SEGITTUR, this is an excellent tourism policy, based on quality, innovation, sustainability, accessibility and private-public collaboration.
Within the accessibility category, Tenerife is investing in inclusive tourism, an aspect it has been working on for a long time and on which it has the support of the Island Society for the Promotion of People with Disabilities, SINPROMI S.L.
The recommendations made to the Tenerife local government include the creation of an office to manage the Smart Destination model within Tenerife Tourism, encouraging tourism entrepreneurship, boosting a digitalisation plan in the tourism offices and the creation of a smart tourism system.
Moreover, the island leaders are invited to measure sustainable tourism and promote this category within the private sector, while improving accessibility in promotional tools, information offices and in the tourism sector was recommended.
The strategic lines for Tenerife were delivered to the local government by SEGITTUR together with the diagnostic report. The destination will use them as a guide to progress in its transformation into a leading Smart Destination, and in October 2022 its certification will be validated.