Tourism innovation, promotion and challenges mark the future of the sector

The second day of the ITH Innovation Summit 2022 has been marked by tourism innovation . It is for this reason that the closing of the event has been focused on key issues such as sustainability and new business models. In other words, it has revolved around all those factors that can determine the immediate future of the industry.

Tourism innovation to address future challenges

To start the conversation about tourism innovation, there was an interview with Jesús Sobrino, CEO of Palladium Hotel Group, and Héctor Coronel, Director of Tourism of the Madrid City Council. They have talked about how the challenges facing the tourism sector should be faced and about the recovery of the sector after the situation it has had to face. Also, about the new trends in the hotel model that are on the rise.

Héctor Coronel highlighted in the interview the importance of the public-private relationship. Likewise, he wanted to highlight how the development of destinations is linked to that of companies and vice versa. «We have a power such as tourism, that nothing that we give a little love in that transformation model, we will achieve a new model of tourism. Spain still has a long way to go.

For his part, Sobrino highlighted the role of tourism as the engine of the Spanish economy. “The business fabric of the tourism sector in Spain is a very strong fabric , it has shown that it is capable of going through the crises that arise.”

Diversification, specialization and new business models

After the interview, Adrian Messerli, Regional VP & General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Madrid; Alfonso Pérez, CMO of Only YOU Hotels; Anselmo de la Cruz, CEO of Hospedium Hotel Group; and Juan Garnica, Executive Director-Head of Hotels at Savills as moderator, discussed the new business models in the sector and how an increasingly diversified and specialized service is offered.

Alfonso Pérez has highlighted the role of people who work in the industry. “What will mark our differentiation is the human being, I bet on the differentiation connected to lifestyles, hobbies… We must create more humane companies , what makes the difference are the people”.

Likewise, Anselmo de la Cruz has pointed out the importance of sustainability in companies. “As hoteliers, we have the obligation to be absolutely sustainable so that tomorrow’s customers understand and value the efforts of hotels to improve society.”

Messerli has emphasized the importance of partners to establish themselves in the market and the key and fundamental role of the destination.

Digital transformation and security in tourism

After the Coffee Break, the debate moderated by Juan Carlos Cavero, director of Agenttravel, took place. Participating in it were Tomeu Enseñat, Information Security Director of the Iberostar Group; Xavier López, CEO of EISI SOFT; and Sebastià Vidal, Director of Tourism at CEI Europe.

During the debate, they discussed the importance of digitization and digital security in tourism , and how hotels should face these challenges in their strategy, focusing on user education and awareness . They have also explained the relevance of a clear, defined and studied strategy; as well as the projects they are carrying out.

Guidelines to reduce the energy cost in the hotel

Next, led by Ana Isabel Díaz Camacho, Fi Group Energy Strategy Granter; Juan de Dios Díaz, head of business development at IGEX Energía; and Pablo Blanco, Project Manager of TTR Mechanical and ITHSaveHotel, have shared the keys to reduce the energy cost in the hotel .

In the scenario in which we find ourselves, the participants in this dialogue have debated from complementary points of view on how to act with the tools that we have at our disposal, with adequate tariff management in energy contracts and reduction of the term of contracted power and execution of actions aimed at renovating energy production facilities to reduce consumption, all actions promoted by the ITHSaveHotel Energy Rehabilitation Programme, launched by ITH and subsidized by the Secretary of State for Tourism.

In addition, Ana Isabel Díaz has put on the table the opportunities that will arise after the summer in order to subsidize these actions.

Keys in the tourist promotion of destinations

To end the morning dedicated to tourism innovation, the ITH Innovation Summit discussed what strategies should be carried out by destinations and the entire tourism value chain that composes it to attract tourists and reach new segments, as well as how to retain the visitor who repeats the destination on their trips.

Likewise, they have talked about the data and tools they use to define and implement tourism promotion strategies and actions, and they have revealed how tourism companies and entities involved in promoting the destination can collaborate together to reinforce the scope and competitiveness of the destination on the international scene.

During the table, everyone agreed that “we should not be afraid of improvisation”, since in the highly changing situation in which we find ourselves, it is our best ally to adapt and improve. Víctor Iglesias, director of events at Puy du Fou; Marc Espasa, director of the Salou Tourist Board and professor of Tourism Marketing at the Rovira i Virgili University; Diego Rodríguez, CEO of Passporter; and has been moderated by Mar de Miguel, executive vice president of AEHM.

The closing of ITH Innovation Summit 2022

The fifth edition of the ITH Innovation Summit has been closed by Daniel Martínez ; Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Community of Madrid; Almudena Maíllo, Councilor for Tourism of the Madrid City Council; Gabriel García, president of the AEHM; and Javier García Cuenca, president of ITH.

Javier García Cuenca began the closing ceremony by applauding the resilience of the sector, giving way to the rest of the personalities who accompanied him. Almudena Maíllo has highlighted the ITH Innovation Summit as the reference space in terms of current issues in the sector: “ITH Innovation Summit has brought together the hotel sector to find solutions that help it improve.”

Gabriel García has highlighted the value of human capital as an asset of establishments and the relevance of public-private collaboration in the tourism field. “Our country has this sector, hoteliers are one of the strongest links”, concluded Daniel Martínez. This is how the V edition of the ITH Innovation Summit, focused on tourism innovation and the future of the sector, has ended.

Courtesy images: ITH Innovation Summit 2022

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