On 6th April 2021, it was held the kick-off meeting of the ‘Smart Tourism Destinations’ project, funded by the EU Commission – Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and managed by PwC, in consortium with CARSA and the University of Málaga.

The overarching objective of the project is to support EU cities in their path toward a green and digital transition aimed at improving smart and sustainable management of urban tourism destinations in the EU through data mastering, understood as the ability to collect, curate and re-use touristic data in accordance with a coherent strategic plan.

In fact, improving the data management for tourism destination development entails a number of challenges, from adopting the proper architectures to relying on proper data sources and formats, involving also aspects related to legislation and data privacy. The project will also focus on the re-use of public and openly available data (both public and private), and therefore it will be key to develop standardised methodologies for using and collecting data so as to ensure their quality and interoperability.

Throughout the project – which will last 30 months and will engage a wide and multi-disciplinary pool of stakeholders – several workshops and capacity building activities will accompany the development of a number of deliverables. The latter include a study entitled ‘Mastering data for tourism by EU cities’, a ‘EU Guide on data for tourism destinations’ and a ‘Toolkit for mastering data by EU urban tourism destinations’.

The first activities have already started and foresee the launch of a Call for Expression of Interest (EoI) in early June 2021. The call will aim to select a group of European independent experts in the fields of tourism and data management, which will assist the establishment of a smart tourism community of practice and support coaching services and capacity building activities dedicated to EU cities.

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