Developing smart tourism, based on sustainabile and safe destinations and cooperation, better quality, professional competence and ICT is very important for the future of tourist trade in Croatia and the Mediterranean, it was said at the "SmartMed" conference in Zagreb on Tuesday.
During the online conference, organised by Croatia's Tourism Ministry and the Zagreb-based Apsolon consulting company, about a hundred participants agreed that the Covid pandemic was considerably changing the wishes of potential travellers and business models in this sector, with an emphasis put on the health safety of destinations.
The SmartMed project, worth €3 million, is part of PANORAMED, a governance platform that supports the process of strengthening and developing multilateral cooperation frameworks in the Mediterranean region for joint responses to common challenges and opportunities.
As many as 13 partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, who are included in SmartMed, are trying to develop business models for smart tourism.
Presenting the findings of an analysis of competences and competitiveness of the tourism sector in the Mediterranean, Apsolon director Ivana Novoselec said that Croatia's legislative and regulatory framework for tourism scored the lowest mark in comparison to the situation in other countries.
In this segment, the best examples of good practices are found in Portugal and Spain, notably in Barcelona.
Considering the segment of sustainability, Croatia tops the ranking, she said.
When it comes to the remaining three pillars of smart tourism: cooperation and participation, human capital and business climate and technologies and IT, Croatia occupies lower-ranked positions, she said, adding that all that could be improved.
The analysis shows that all the above mentioned countries lack strategic frameworks for specific niches of tourism development. Also, there is no congruence between national, regional and local strategies, Novoselec said.