(Alicante, Tuesday, May 12, 2020) .- The post-COVID ‘Technological solutions for companies and tourist destinations’ webinar, organized this Tuesday by the Conselleria of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, through the Comunidad Valenciana Digital District and the Valencian Institute of Tourism Technologies (Invat.tur), has registered an excellent reception, with a large number of agents in the tourism sector, interested in learning about technological advances at the service of our network of tourist destinations in the Valencian Community.

The webinar, carried out in online format, is part of the joint collaboration between these entities on the subject of ‘Knowledge Transfer Digital District – Network of Intelligent Tourist Destinations of the Valencian Community’, to bring technological solutions to the tourism sector developed by companies under the Digital District umbrella.

The Consellera of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, Carolina Pascual, in her speech has reinforced that, at this time, “technology and the search for innovative solutions are of outstanding relevance when facing the new socio-economic scenario created for the COVID-19 pandemic, in which context the commitment to the knowledge society is a true emergency ”.

“The  Department that I direct has maintained from the outset contacts with the Autonomous Secretariat of Tourism and its manager, Francesc, to create synergies between innovation and tourism, something they have been working on for a long time,” she said.

“It is essential to be able to focus on technological innovation and both public and private research in the business world, and precisely the Digital District was designed to create a technological ecosystem that would drive change to the digital society. It is now more than ever when this need has become more acute, “added the minister.

Likewise, Carolina Pascual recalled that the tourism industry is one of the main engines of the autonomous economy, “and our companies and tourist destinations need to incorporate new technologies in order to continue carrying out their activity, offering tourists and their workers the security that they need, and that will allow us to add a differential characteristic as a destination ”.

“Our companies and destinations have been working for many years to offer unique experiences, quality service, a product adapted to the most demanding quality standards, qualified personnel… And at this current moment, the need to add security standards has also been added, with which we had not counted. These standards offer a difficulty not only of utility and visibility on the part of the tourist, but of management on the part of the professionals ”.

The Consellera of Innovation, through the Digital District, has focused its efforts on bringing innovative companies into contact with the most urgent needs of companies and public administrations. For this reason, she pointed out, “in this webinar today we intend to make available to businessmen and public managers some of the technological solutions that companies belonging to the technology hub of the Digital District are already developing and can be applied immediately”.

“In the face of this emergency situation, we both collaborate closely with the Benidorm City Council in a working group to create an innovative pilot project, which includes practices that allow tourism to be recovered with safety, rigor and innovation”, she added.

For his part, the autonomous secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, considered that “technology and brand value, linked to quality, are the two pillars of tourism for the future”. As he commented, “technology does not make us smarter: what makes us smarter is decision-making, governance, which is sharing, because we will come out of this together. ”

In this sense, he considered that the current moment of crisis offers us the opportunity, “the gift of cooperating and adding”, and has predicted that to make a good recovery “we have a lot to do in the field of public-private cooperation”, because , “we all need each other”.

Antonio Rodes, general director of the Society of Thematic Projects of the Valencian Community (SPTCV), thanked the “excellent work” that the Conselleria of Innovation, Invat.tur and the different agents of the tourist sector are doing in such a complicated situation. “The pandemic has brought the tourism sector into the ICU, but here our territory has natural assets and such dynamic actors that I am sure that we are going to get out of that ICU very soon.”

In this recovery, added Rodes, “innovation will be needed, and for this reason the Department of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society has redirected its efforts to seek momentum from innovation not only to travel in this situation but to get out with renewed strength ”.

Innovation proposals

During the conference, which has been moderated by Mario Villar, director of Tourist Intelligence, several of the companies of the Digital District have taken part, proposing solutions applicable to the tourism sector, in order to face the restart of their activity with all the guarantees.

Thus, Luis García Palacios, of the Tecon Group, has proposed solutions for the control of capacity and body temperature, through the installation of thermal cameras, or the simple adaptation of software to the existing network of surveillance cameras of establishments or public spaces, for counting people, with an alert system according to parameters defined by the manager.

Elena Mariel, from the Iristrace company, has shown the possibilities of a software for management and control of standards, both by managers and by the employees themselves, which guarantees correct compliance with care and cleaning protocols in all the departments.

Next, Itziar Pérez, CEO of Dual Link, has detailed the projects “Management software for restaurants”, and has explained how, through management software, it is possible to post this transfer of reservations, orders, payments, even home delivery, without using consumables, so that each employee or user can carry out all the actions from their own mobile device.

Pasi Leipälä CEO of the Finnish company Haltian, specialized in IoT, has shown how by means of sensors and management software developed and already tested, sanitary and cleaning control is possible without the need for human intervention, which reduces costs and ensures compliance with standards.

Annina Koskiola CEO of Proximi.io, has presented different solutions of “Proximity Software”. The Finnish Proximi.io develops applications based on the geolocation of services, allowing the user to access all the information from their own device, including capacity, online payments, reservations and programs, in real time.

Finally, Rosa Gómez from Proyectos Amaltea and José Manuel Belda from Evalue, have presented a list of “Public supports for the incorporation of technology in the tourism sector” of great interest also to agents in the tourism sector. Both have proposed the main ways of financing currently existing for this type of innovative applications, focusing on those offered by IVACE, Turisme Comunitat Valenciana and CDTI.