Santa Susanna in Barcelona today received its roadmap to become a Smart Destination. This roadmap has been drawn up by SEGITTUR, following the production of a diagnostic report analysing the measures it needs to put in place within the five Smart Destination model categories (governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability).
The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, awarded the mayor of Santa Susanna, Joan Campolier, the Smart Destination associate designation, signifying that Santa Susanna has begun its Smart Destination journey with a roadmap that will put it in the best position to tackle digital and sustainable transformation within the context of the new European Recovery Funds.
The roadmap and action plan will allow Santa Susanna to make the most of the opportunities available and emerge strengthened from the complicated situation resulting from COVID-19.
Valdés has praised the investment Santa Susanna has made in becoming a sustainable destination, in which tourism “goes hand in hand with local reality”, and noted that from now on, tourism can no longer disassociate itself from new technologies, which are going to help “generate safer attractions and services”, directed towards increasingly specific attractions.
Campolier stated that “Santa Susanna aspires to be the benchmark coastal destination in the Mediterranean for its efficient management of sustainability. To achieve this, we have designed a strategy and an ambitious plan together with the destination’s business community. Reducing the tourist industry’s carbon footprint, encouraging sustainable transportation, adapting the coastline to make it more resilient to the probable effects of climate change, promoting a circular economy of zero-kilometre agricultural products between the tourism sector and nearby businesses and preserving beaches, biodiversity and the countryside are some of the actions we are going to take straight away. The challenge is ambitious, but worthwhile.
To prepare the diagnostic report and action plan for Santa Susanna, meetings have been held with all the agents related to the sector, and the 400+ requirements linked to the categories for a Smart Destination have been analysed.
Within these five categories, the city received best results for sustainability, thanks to Santa Susanna’s investment in sustainable tourism, particularly in conservation and improving cultural heritage, as well as its sustainable energy plan.
In terms of governance, for which it received its second highest score thanks to investments in transparency and participation, the report proposed the strengthening of the destination’s management body, as well as prioritising the strategic planning to be undertaken over the next decade, both in terms of the city and of its vision of becoming a Smart Destination.
Regarding accessibility, the roadmap notes the need to produce strategic documents, as well as to promote accessible attractions and incorporate accessibility into the destination’s promotional tools.
In relation to recommendations to improve innovation, the creation of a specific innovation unit is proposed, which could help implement this in both management processes and in commercialisation, as well as the creation of new products and tourism services. In terms of technology, the destination has been encouraged to make use of knowledge management tools.