An industry that is transversal to all economic sectors and can be the best option to develop small and medium cities and remote destinations as well.
The event will put Portugal on the route of the great global events dedicated to Smart Cities and Smart Tourism, benefiting, the whole community.
Next December 4-7, the Northeast of Portugal will host Smart Travel14, a pioneering forum that will gather international experts in the sector of tourism and the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in order to share knowledge, experiences and smart solutions with the local entrepreneurs who already develop creative initiatives for the (tourism) development of the territory.
It will deal with a very interactive meeting, completed by a two –days program of experiences, in order for the participants to discover or re-discover the Northeast of Portugal territory, in creative and smart ways.
The Creative Tourism Network® will take part on it and highly recommend you to register.
Who better than its creator could introduce us this relevant meeting? We have interviewed Vítor Pereira, founder of Smart Travel 2014, who reveals us further details of this singular summit.
– Vitor, Could you please, introduce briefly Smart Travel 2014?
The Smart Travel 2014, will discuss and reflect on the future of small and medium-sized cities. How to use, in a smart way, the Tourism as key sector to the development and prosperity. How to include and to associate the Technology to sustainability and to the Social and Human aspect of low-density territories.
This project has its origins in two Local Action Groups (GAL), the Corane and the Desteque, which submitted an application to ON. 2 – New North, in the context of empowerment and promotion of the territory, which is not limited to the municipalities that represent these two GAL and they have as its mission the promotion of local development. In this sense, they became involved in the organization of Smart Travel with a double objective: Empowerment and promotion of the territory.
– Who will benefit from the event?
First of all, the region itself that will receive and organizes the event. Secondly, practically all the agents of sectors that directly and indirectly are related to the themes that will be highlighted, namely the cities, the intelligence of the territories, the tourism as an instrument for sustainable development and generator of wealth, the innovation and the entrepreneurship, the creativity, the culture and the technology. Thirdly, the event will put Portugal on the route of the great global events dedicated to this theme of Smart Cities and Smart Tourism, benefiting, in general, the whole community.
– Why are technology and creativity so relevant in tourism development?
These are important tools that can improve tourism development in territories, and in low-density regions that keep loosing population and sustainability; economy needs to be pushed up with one industry like tourism sector. An industry that is transversal to all economic sectors and it can be the best option to develop small and medium cities and remote destinations as well. But Tourism, nowadays, needs technology to communicate, for example, to sell products and services, to improve user experience and more, but also needs creativity to make it attractive to tourist markets and beat competition of other destinations with more resources and conditions.
– Should all kind of destinations be concerned by this shift? Why?
It’s obvious that everyone is competing for the same tourist markets and even though we can do the same other do, we can also be different and creative and find something that it’s totally aside from the mainstream. And maybe, who knows, that path can lead the destination to a more sustainable activity based on tourism. In my opinion destinations should be finding ways to be wise and intelligent using their resources to keep the destinations sustainable and, of course, developing economy, prosperity and business. Technology and Creativity are perfect tools to help us with that.
– Smartravel14 will offer the opportunity to live a wide array of creative experiences in Bragança and Mirandela. Are there pioneering destinations in this sense?
The experiences will take place in a more vaste territory, the portuguese northeast region of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro that includes Bragança and Mirandela. 2 days exclusively dedicated to Tours/Excursions, experiences that may or may not include technology, but they include a Smart component in the sense that it is possible to have options of packages to promote, in the source markets, to the extent that they distinguished themselves by quality, originality and by the experience almost exclusively. Things that this territory of the Northeast of Portugal has to spare.
We’re only organizing some exciting experiences and promoting them. And I can reveal that they’ve been a success and very well received nationally and abroad. At least this objective was achieved which was promoting the region and some of our touristic potential. I believe we contribute to make people more aware of this region and we can say that Smart Travel 2014 is pioneer in this kind of events.
After 20 years dedicated to journalism and communication sector,Vítor Pereira is, since 2008, tight connected with new ICT projects in key sectors like Tourism/Travel, Cities and Smart Territories and, of course, communication, information and analysis about it.
He’s working near to associations, municipalities and other institutional (public and private) entities in Portugal as a communication, ideas and messages organization expert, new projects and business ideas mentor and sustainable development.
He is currently Head of Strategy in CONTEUDO CHAVE (Key Content) a Communication, Innovation and Creative Agency, one of the pioneers in Portugal, dedicated to digital marketing and Augmented Reality technology , asmong others. He is also a blogger in Portugal, Amsterdam, London, EUA, Canada and Spain.