Startup Europe Awards

Sustainability and digitalisation in tourism, promoted by the FU-TOURISM project, to be debated at Transfiere

FU-TOURISM presents the first workshop of the cycle of 6 workshops that it will offer in the coming months. The workshop took place on Thursday 21 March at the Transfiere fair, the leading R&D&I forum in southern Europe.

Finnova is co-organiser of this workshop, which is also part of the Startup Europe Week SEW24.

Finnova Foundation has been in charge of presenting the workshop “FU-TOURISM STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP: €4M for Sustainable Innovation and Green Entrepreneurship in the Spanish tourism ecosystem at the Transfiere fair, held in FYCMA, Malaga, from 20 to 22 March. The meeting brought together various agents from the Spanish tourism ecosystem to discuss issues such as digital development and the green transition within the sector.

The objective of the hybrid workshop, which was broadcast live from the Transfiere fair, was to analyse the opportunities and challenges of the Spanish tourism sector through the exchange of best practices focused on the digitalisation and sustainability of the ecosystem. The speakers presented examples and best practices in digitalisation and sustainability in tourism, highlighting the opportunities and challenges. The event was developed around a stakeholder panel and a round table after the presentations that allowed all the speakers to discuss the challenges of sustainability and digitalisation in various tourism sectors.

The stakeholder panel of the workshop was divided into three blocks. The first focused on sustainability and the environment, with the participation of experts in the sector such as the director of Tourism and Business Development Costa del Sol Malaga, Pedro Barrionuevo Gener and the CEO of Stemy Energy, Álvaro Sánchez Miralles. In the second block, focused on digitalisation and twin transition, the Founder of the Ibero-American Forum of Sustainable Tourism #TuriSOS, Alex Che, the Director of the Chair of Innovation of the Gandía Campus of the UPV, Jose Marín-Roig Ramón and the director of ASICOTOUR, Ana Belén Fernández Seijas, took part. Finally, the Design Lead, Regenerative Transformation and Eco-social Ecosystems, Sharam Yalda, addressed Market Intelligence, showing how to use this term for the development of sustainable tourism.

The workshop concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Patricia Cavanillas, Director of Communication and Institutional Relations at Finnova. Throughout the debate, the speakers presented their opinions on various topics related to the current situation and the short-term future of the Spanish tourism industry. 

The panelists wanted to underline the challenge faced by tourism in aligning itself with innovation; the need to connect existing entrepreneurial initiatives with tourism. When it came to defining the situation of tourism in Spain, most of the speakers agreed on the complex situation it is going through, with a large number of micro-destinations to promote, but they also highlighted the positive note in the evolution of the use of digital tools, which favours entrepreneurship. On the other hand, another aspect on which the round table agreed was the virtues that the union of public and private entities can bring to tourism and the creation of systems so that small agents can contribute value to the sector. 

Juanma Revuelta, CEO of the Finnova Foundation, wanted to highlight two other topics discussed at the table: the opportunities that tourism can offer in depopulated Spain and the need to align the ecological transition with the sector.  On the other hand, Revuelta also highlighted the current tools provided by the European Union in terms of tourism promotion to help repopulate uninhabited areas.

With this workshop, the Finnova Foundation also became co-organiser of Startup Europe Week (SEW24), an initiative that is present in more than 300 cities in almost 50 countries, making it the largest regional entrepreneurship event in the world.

FU-TOURISM project: support network for tourism SMEs  

The workshop is part of a cycle of 6 workshops showcased by the European project FU-TOURISM, which is funded by the COSME programme with 4 million euros. The project aims to assist small and medium-sized tourism enterprises in Europe in their transition towards a green, digital and inclusive economy, with a focus on implementing the principles of the regenerative economy.  The project will have a duration of 36 months (2023-2026), is composed of entities from Croatia, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Austria, Poland and Italy and is led by EUPOLIS Group. The Finnova Foundation is leading the transferability, replication and communication of the project, considering the innovation methods used by Startup Europe Awards (SEUA), a strategy promoted by Startup Europe and supported by the European Commission. SEUAs are a tool to identify disruptive SMEs and startups that foster public-private collaboration and promote self-employment as a driver of job creation.