The award is the result of having passed the evaluation by Spain’s National Agency for the Management of Tourism Innovation and Technology (SEGITTUR). Over several months it worked with different local government departments and the publicly-run Tenerife Tourism company to assess over 400 indicators linked to the five themes of the smart tourist destination model (governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability). Of all the areas evaluated, technology is the one in which the island of Tenerife has achieved the most outstanding compliance, with 89%, followed by sustainability at 85.2%, governance at 82.6%, innovation at 78.7%, and accessibility at 70.6%.
During the award ceremony, the President of the local government, Pedro Martín, said that “if Tenerife wants to continue being a serious, mature and leading tourist destination, capable of satisfying the requirements of a demanding tourist who needs information immediately, this is the way to go.” He added that “we must be prepared for the future and become a reference destination for the international tourism market.”
The chairman of SEGITTUR, Enrique Martínez, highlighted Tenerife’s work on the five themes, where all of them have passed with merit. “These scores show our achievement as a destination,” while he expressed his conviction that “this commitment to a sustainable development model will contribute to improving our competitiveness, quality of life for our residents and the experience for visitors.”
In technology, Tenerife has focussed on using information and communication technologies (ICT) for managing public services and smart developments across the island to improve the quality of life and the social welfare for residents and visitors. Tenerife is firmly committed to innovation as a way to benefit from new challenges in tourism and generally. Both the local government and Tenerife Tourism have innovation departments and management plans that serve as catalysts supported by a robust knowledge and research ecosystem.
In terms of sustainability, Tenerife is committed to protecting its heritage, both cultural and artistic, natural and environmental, and promoting its economic and social sustainability as a destination, especially in terms of supporting its local economy and well-being of residents and visitors. And, in governance, to setting up sustainability and innovation committees, and the project to set up an Island Tourism Council advisory body. SEGITTUR affirms that this is an excellent tourism policy based on quality, innovation, sustainability, accessibility and public-private partnership.
In the area of accessibility, the Island of Tenerife is committed to inclusive tourism. It has been working on this aspect for some time in partnership with SINPROMI (Island Company for the Promotion of People with Disabilities).
SEGITTUR’s recommendations to the Tenerife local government include setting up an STD (smart tourism destination) model management office within Tenerife Tourism, promoting tourism businesses, and moving ahead with the tourist offices digitalisation plan, as well as creating a tourism intelligence system. Likewise, it encourages the island’s management to measure sustainable tourism and promote this theme to the private sector. It also recommends improving the accessibility of promotional media, information offices and the tourism sector.
This diagnosis was included in SEGITTUR’s strategic priorities for the island of Tenerife’s local government. These recommendations will serve as a guide for the destination to progress with its transformation as a reference STD. SEGITTUR will review its certification in October 2022.