The Tourism Unit of DG GROW has planned to establish a network of public and private players, representing all types of relevant tourism actors (including traditional as well as more recently established digital ones) to discuss how to boost innovation capacity of tourism entrepreneurs, notably SMEs.
The industry representatives have been invited to participate to the first meeting the 27th of March, the participants will come from the public and private sector, and digital and non-digital backgrounds. It is possible to register through this link.
The European Commission is already active both in mainstreaming the tourism sector’s interests into the ongoing digital agenda and developing tailor-made initiatives for tourism businesses to better exploit the ICT-enabled opportunities. However, the EU Commission aims to build a more structured discussion with the industry on technological challenges to design new initiatives aiming to boost the sector’s digitalization, empower SMEs with the necessary skills and ensure inclusive promotion of ICT-innovation.
The participants of the meeting are expected to:
1. Brainstorm on key areas of concern to tourism businesses operating online and addressing issues such as:
- regulatory fragmentation and ensuring a level playing field;
- new business models and market trends;
- big data ownership, access and use;
- education curriculum;
- access to training, finance and technology.
2. Provide suggestions to the Commission services on how to shape new actions designed to increase the uptake of digital technologies by the tourism sector and SMEs’ inclusion in the global digital value chain.
3. Serve as a contact point for their respective networks, including for example, technological entrepreneurs, online tourism actors of all sizes, digital policy influencers and local administrations.
The network shall build on the expertise that has already been gathered within multiple fora such as Strategic Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship and Digital Agenda for Europe. The outcomes of the Digital Tourism Platform will feed the relevant initiatives that will be included in the set of new actions to be launched by the new Commissioner in charge of tourism, Elżbieta Bieńkowska.
The event will take place at the Auditorium – Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Avenue d’Auderghem 45 – 1040 Brussels – (Belgium).