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The future of tourism requires more specialisation

First it was opening “sun and sand” to a wider variety of specialised activities in the urban, natural and rural segments, and now we have to add experience tourism to each of these areas. Experts from the Universidad Complutense and the CETT Barcelona School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy, explain how to achieve this.

29 Oct 2020

Specialisation can be a major drive for the future of tourism in Spain. The monolithic “sun and sand” formula has given way to a wide range of new activities, that now have to provide the best possible experiences for those visitors choosing them, whether in the city, natural or rural environment, explains María Concepción García Gómez, Vice-rector for Employability and Entrepreneurship and professor at the Commerce and Tourism College of the Universidad Complutense in Madrid.

“This transformation will promote segments such as MICE, business, gastronomy, as well as city, heritage, culture, natural or rural, which is an integral part of the tourist's experience and which should be approached by specialists on the matter”.

The need for specialisation had arisen before the coronavirus pandemic and, although we will now have to adapt to the new situation, “having already begun places us in a better position”, as stated by this expert, who was previously also the Dean of the Commerce and Tourism College of the UCM.

She points out that “specialised training, adapted to these new requirements of the sector, will play a crucial role for innovation and the appearance of new business models that will boost the strengths of our tourism companies and allow us to face new challenges with optimism”.

Which changes will be long-standing?

Eugeni Osácar, Director of Research at the CETT (benchmark university centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy, at the University of Barcelona), also believes that one of the key factors for improving the tourism sector is training. The CETT-UB insists on a strategic commitment to training, because “the sector and, therefore, the country as a destination, needs professionals with cross-sectional skills and capabilities that will allow them to adapt to these new realities. And he adds that “we believe in an ethical perspective on training for tourism, hospitality and gastronomy”. 

Osácar stated that there has been “a change in the way we consume tourism” and he says that “new trends will emerge that we must become familiar with, through applied research and thanks to collaboration between the industry and the academic field”. Covid-19 has also brought about drastic changes, some of which are temporary and others permanent. For example, “the demand for a more sustainable tourism will continue, while the demand for health protection measures will begin to disappear as one or several vaccines are discovered and implemented”.

A commitment by FITUR

FITUR is aware of the importance of the growing specialisation of tourism and contributes to promoting it every year with a wide variety of proposals and areas, among these FITURTECHY, FITUR KNOW HOW & EXPORT, FITUR SCREEN, FITUR FESTIVALS, FITUR LGBT + and FITUR HEALTH.