The first Spain “Tourism & Innovation” Summit was opened yesterday by Queen Letizia of Spain who stepped in for King Felipe who has self quarantined after having been exposed to the coronavirus.
The king is expected to be tested for the virus and remain isolated for 10 days.
The summit being held in Seville aims to become the largest international forum for innovation in the tourism sector and to help rebuild the Spanish tourism market that has been decimated by the global pandemic.
The Andalucian capital is the largest tourist city destination at Barcelona and Madrid.
This year’s inaugural event was opened by the queen with a minute´s silence to commemorate the International Day Against Domestic Violence.
In her address she reference to the damage the global pandemic has caused to a sector that has “suffered so much”.
She said that she expected the summit to “provide more elements of analysis to continue expanding and strengthening the tourism value chain and its capacity to generate employment and revalue socio-economic ecosystems by promoting innovation and digitization and without forgetting sustainability.”
She also said that Spain’s experience as the second most important tourist destination in the world would “be a great boost that will guide the tourism industry for the years to come.”
The tourism sector represents around 12% of Spain´s GDP.
Over 5,000 tourism professionals from the sector along with representatives from leading technology companies and start ups attended the inaugural event.
Participants in the “Where Technology meets Tourism” Summit will discuss key areas of innovation including the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, big data and blockchain, sustainable mobility, smart destinations and 5G, which will revitalize the sector in the wake of the pandemic and transform it in the coming years.