Q&A  | 

The Digitalization of tourist destinations, with José Juan Lorenzo

The Canary Islands lead a sustainable tourisme project.

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José Juan Lorenzo is managing director of Promotur Turismo de Canarias, a public company that, together with the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands is driving the island digital transformation strategy. The new tourism model of the archipelago is called “Canarias Destino” (Destination Canary Islands).

What does the digital transformation strategy of the Canary Islands consist of?

We are creating a unique network to connect local companies with residents and visitors. To promote cooperation between all the agents involved, we are using the latest technological solutions. 

Is there a specific technology being developed?

We are working on a single digital platform, a marketplace that will connect tourists, companies and the destination. This will have a direct impact on the Canary Islands. There will be more digital leadership and tourism intelligence, services and products will be better adapted to the public, other sectors will be integrated more in the tourism value chain, and efficiency will be improved. All of this alongside a commitment to climate neutrality, resilience, and competitiveness. 

At what stage is the Canary Islands’ digital transformation strategy?

Currently, we are immersed in the creation of an innovation hub. This is a collaborative forum that will serve to inform and attract providers of tourism services and products and promote innovation through the “Canarias Destino digital platform. 

What benefits will this digitization process bring to the destination?

This transformation of the current economic model of the archipelago will facilitate the development of the local economy. It will also improve the tourism product by connecting companies in the primary, industrial, and commercial sectors with tourism companies and tourists themselves. 

The objectives of this ambitious plan are the development of the Canarian tourist economy. The scheme aims to participate in the direct marketing of products, improve the tourist experience, and make the sector more sustainable. 

How will technology facilitate this connection between providers and tourists?

The strategy focuses on maximizing the exchange between suppliers and tourists through a series of components. The first of them, an Intelligent Destination Platform will have an Internet of Things (IOT) sensor network that will allow for the retrieval of data from the real world in order to obtain contextual tourist information based on location. 

The data will nourish the Sustainable Marketplace, which will allow tourism companies to find the full range of products from the primary, commercial and industrial sectors, along with the necessary logistics and professional services. In addition, it will have the differentiating element of being able to certify to tourists just how local the products offered are. It will also show the carbon footprint.   

The Digital Tourism Channel will be added. This will be the instrument for Canary tourism companies to market their products and services directly to tourists. For this, a Digital Channel (app and web) will be developed for the destination to show to the tourist the range of activities on offer.