What is smart tourism?


Definition of smart tourism

 Smart tourism  is an advanced concept of tourism developed by a more responsible and connected  tourism industry . 

It is also developed by people who have evolved their travel habits, who are no longer mere “tourists”, but “21st century smart tourists”. 

These new types of tourists are defined by being plugged into social media, enjoying their free time in an active and connected way. They instantly engage with their surroundings and the quality of the experience they have is what really counts.

But what is a smart tourism destination? A tourism-oriented and innovative space accessible to all, which is consolidated on a cutting-edge technological infrastructure, which must guarantee sustainable territorial development. 

It is accessible to everyone, and also facilitate visitor integration with the environment, increasing the quality of their experience in the destination and the quality of life of the residents.

The Smart Tourist Destinations project, one of the measures included in Spain’s Comprehensive National Tourism Plan (2012-2015), was promoted by the Secretary of State for Tourism and managed by the State Society for the Management of Innovation and Tourism Technologies (SEGITTUR).

The goal is to better position Spain as a global tourist destination, seeking new ways to promote innovation in the destinations, by developing and deploying ICTs as a way to create unique, highly competitive services.

Cornerstones of smart tourism

– Geography: science that studies the earth’s surface, the societies that inhabit it and the areas, landscapes and/or regions they form when both concepts are interconnected.

– Systematics: basic area for including data. Process by which all the territorial stakeholders that are included in the topic of analysis must be detected and the information they generate, which is fundamental for the comprehensive understanding and correct management of the territory, must be captured.

– Informatics: refers to the set of algorithms, implemented applications, database models, as well as information extraction models and techniques to process, analyse, interpret, disseminate and store information.

– Communication: spatial data is only useful if and when it reaches the users of this information, making it a system that user’s proposals can be fed into.

Examples of smart tourism


Marbella (Málaga)
There’s no question that Marbella is one of the major tourist spots on the Costa del Sol, thanks to the high quality of the city’s infrastructures and the services it offers. It has been part of this project since November 2014. 

la Val d'Arán-turismo-inteligente

La Val d’Aran (Girona)
Located on the northern side of the Pyrenees, this valley has been involved in the smart tourism initiative since 2015, its scenery, cuisine, cultural diversity, idiomatic uniqueness and high-quality tourism offer making the destination an exceptional place to visit. 


Jaca (Aragón)
Also known as “the pearl of the Pyrenees”, it joined the project in 2016 and its main initiatives are: Implementation of the Jaca Development Office, development of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and then incorporating the recommendations contained in the Diagnostic and Action Plan report when setting budgets.


Hellín (Castilla La Mancha)
City nestled between the plateau, the Murcia coast and the Levante. Its two UNESO heritage sites are a testimony to the different Iberian, Roman, Visigothic and Muslim civilisations that have lived in the region. It boasts a host of initiatives, including Hellín, which is firmly committed to promoting tourism.


El Ejido (Almería)
This is an excellent destination for all types of travel trends, from sun and beach to culture and cuisine to entertainment and sports. It joined the project in May 2018. Some of its initiatives are to become a leading destination in environmental sustainability applied to the agricultural model, and destination quality through the SICTED programme. 


Torrox (Málaga)
A town sheltered by the Sierras de Tejeda and Almijara, Torrox offers travellers the contrast between the traditional image of this region and its adaptation to modern times. It joined the project in June 2018 and some of its most outstanding initiatives include the significant role of data and tourism promotion.

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