What do we mean when we talk about innovation in the tourism sector? Generally speaking, this is a very broad topic spanning from technology to creative initiatives. Apparently, innovation is largely present in this sector, but how can we measure its impact on the market as well as on the territories?
The ADRION funded project Innoxenia responded to this challenge by developing a comprehensive database called, rightly, “Tourism Innovation Observatory”. The project has set up this platform with the aim to collect data from different sources targeting the tourism destinations of the Adriatic-Ionian area, in order to analyse trends, and ultimately to draw some considerations which can help operators to improve their business.
The project will produce 3 specific outputs:
The Tourism Innovation Observatory, a database for modelling information on the tourism industry of the Adriatic-Ionian Region
An Action Plan with dedicated policy reccomendations
A Strategic Agenda to tackle the challenges of the tourism sector in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.
Support the development of a regional innovation system for the Adriatic-Ionian area
Do you want to know the average price of hotels in a specific place of the Adriatic-Ionian region? The tourism flow in relevant destinations including business arrivals? The number of archeological sites and museums? Here you are. The Tourist Innovation Observatorycollects data on the tourism industry targeting the most visited destinations of the Adriatic-Ionian region. Data are classified on the basis of several indicators, including enterprises using a voluntary certification for environmental measures, basically the ones which are supposed to be “sustainable” according to ETIS, the European Tourism Indicators System for sustainable destination management.
Unlike other similar databases, the platform collects a quite high amount of web-data taken from online touristic sources like Trip Advisor or Booking. This feature allows to benchmark from single destinations and municipalities up to countries according to specific parameters and performances.
The database is also a repository for Best Practices
When a single destination is underperforming (according to the standard value given by the ADRION partners’ area), the system automatically shows best practices and solutions adopted in other countries to overcome those criticalities.
Innovation can lead to a reduction of pricing
An interesting finding, which came up in the analysis of the data collected in the Observatory, shows that innovation combined with good ratings provided by the costumers may lead, for instance, to cheaper accommodations.
Replicability of the result
The Tourism Innovation Observatory has been populated by Innoxenia partners during the project life-cycle, but it was designed to be also accessible, upon registration and single user login, to any organisation which is willing to include data on further areas, destinations or countries. The aim is to produce a Big Data repository that can provide the opportunity to better analyse mega trends and ease political decisions on the tourism industry.
How the project involved the community of operators of the tourism sector: Dissemination events and Innoxenia Cafè
The project has constantly kept involved the tourism operators by organising get-togethers called “Innoxenia Cafè” in order to exchange experiences and, more importantly, collect surveys which served as a basis for part of the data stored in the Observatory. Moreover, each partner organised dissemination events for socio-economic operators of the sector to showcase project results, including the Observatory. Thanks to structured networking activities as well as to capacity building events held in the partner’s countries, InnoXenia has contributed to increase the awareness of the target audience about the relation between innovation and sustainable development policies.