As tourists become more independent, connected and conscious of sustainability issues, Europe needs to embrace, and adapt to, their changing profile and priorities, and become better at promoting so-called smart destinations. New technologies moreover offer challenges and opportunities for European tourism. Whilst businesses need to adopt the latest digital technologies to remain competitive, research demonstrates that the smaller the business, the lower the rate of adoption of digital technologies (Report of the Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship, 2016). In addition to digitising the sector, Europe needs to take opportunities to integrate culture and technology in new and innovative ways, targeting strategic investment in areas where it can be a world leader, such as cultural tourism.
Mrs. Françoise Guaspare, co-leader of the NECSTouR's Working Group on Smart Destinations, will make an intervention.