Today, the Chairman of SEGITTUR, Enrique Martínez Marín, awarded the Costa del Sol president of Tourism, Francisco Salado, the Smart Destination designation after it exceeded the methodology requirements.
The Smart Destinations project is an initiative vigorously promoted by the Secretary of State for Tourism to contribute towards making Spanish destinations more competitive.
The Costa del Sol received the designation following the production of a diagnostic report, assessing over 400 requirements of Smart Destination methodology, divided into five categories: governance, innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility.
The diagnostic report demonstrates that the Costa del Sol has received a score of 63.7%, placing it among the most advanced destinations in the Smart Destination model.
It received its highest score for governance with 80.5%, followed by sustainability (79.3%), innovation (64%), technology (61%) and accessibility (33.8%).
The Costa del Sol shows excellent levels of compliance in governance and sustainability, the central focus of the management body’s activity. It also shows satisfactory levels in innovation and technology, with the most room for improvement in accessibility.
In terms of governance, the destination’s management system stands out, and therefore the report recommends that it work towards being certified based on the UNE 178501 Smart Destination management standard.
With respect to innovation, the destination is advised to systematically and transversally integrate innovation through the strengthening of a specific area dedicated to it.
Regarding technology, it has applied noteworthy technologies in its management and destination knowledge system. It also plans to develop its Tourism Intelligence System, which will involve making the destination’s already impressive data management and tourist knowledge model more technological.
In terms of sustainability, there is established sustainable and responsible tourist management in the destination, with a management body that brings together all kinds of skills, putting sustainability at the centre of policies and making use of appropriate strategic planning instruments.
On the other hand, the report identifies multiple significant improvement opportunities in the accessibility category, specifically accessibility management, communications about accessible attractions and accessible technological tools.
According to the Chairman of SEGITTUR, the work the Costa del Sol has carried out to become a Smart Destination “Represents an investment in the development of sustainable tourism and brings with it a series of benefits, including an enhancement of the destination through innovation and technology, increased competitiveness, improved efficiency, higher quality stays for visitors and a better quality of life for residents.”
The Costa del Sol president of Tourism highlighted his pride that the destination is receiving this designation, “Which recognises all the efforts the province of Malaga has been making in both the private and public sectors, and demonstrates that our work is going well.” Salado added that “We are also working on developing an intelligent ecosystem that will help achieve excellence in the planning and execution of our Action Plan, seeking efficiency and responsibility in every public investment in tourist promotion.”