SEGITTUR and the Basque Government adapt the Smart Destination methodology to the regions of the Basque Country

SEGITTUR and the Basque Government have worked together to adapt the smart destination methodology to the regions. The result is a supra-municipal smart destination methodology, which makes it possible to evaluate tourism areas comprising more than one destination.

These efforts are part of the collaboration agreement between SEGITTUR and the Basque Government’s Department of Tourism, Trade and Consumer Affairs through Basquetour, the intention being to develop a set of initiatives for the promotion of smart destinations that translates into a significant involvement of the Basque Country in the smart destination model.

This supranational methodology will be applied for the first time in three Basque regions; the smart destination report and action plan will be implemented in Goierri (Gipuzkoa), Rioja Alavesa (Alava) and Uribe (Bizkaia).

The Gipuzkoa region of Goierri comprises 18 municipalities and six tourist offices, with the regional tourism agency Goitur as the managing entity; Rioja Alavesa comprises 15 municipalities and is managed by “La Ruta del Vino”, a Rioja Alavesa public-private partnership in which the Cuadrilla and the local action group also participate. Finally, the Bizkaia region of Uribe covers 24 municipalities and is managed by the Jata-Ondo Rural Development Association.

The smart destination methodology is based on five lines of action, governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability, which involve the assessment of 261 indicators and 97 requirements.

It has been necessary to adapt the methodology by modifying some of the indicators; for example the question of whether or not the destination has a municipal plan linked to one or more of the key principles in place, becomes whether or not there is a land-use plan.

In the case of destinations, the managing body, the local council for example, also has the information requested, whereas in the case of regions, the managing body needs to redirect queries to the data source.

The SEGITTUR team held an initial meeting with the heads of the Goierri, Rioja Alavesa and Uribe managing bodies to explain the details of the work.  The conclusions of the meetings, together with an analysis of the information provided by all the agents involved, will be used to assess the degree of compliance of the Basque regions in terms of each of the key principles, providing the basis for drawing up the assessment report and the action plan for transforming them into a smart tourist destination.

Review report for Vitoria-Gasteiz and Donostia/San Sebastián

SEGITTUR will also be working with the destinations of Vitoria-Gasteiz and San Sebastián to review the assessment reports and action plan drawn up in 2020 and 2019 respectively.

Transformation into a smart destination adds value to the destination through innovation and technology, which brings with it increased competitiveness and improved efficiency, as well as a boost to the destination’s sustainable development, in economic and socio-cultural as well as environmental terms.