Algarve “must improve digital connectivity with tourists”
Ferragudo (Photo: Michael Bruxo/Open Media)

Algarve “must improve digital connectivity with tourists”

Study finds that there is “great potential” in Algarve for “digital connectivity”

A study has found that there is “great potential” to improve the Algarve’s “digital connectivity” with tourists, which could pave the way for the region to become a truly “smart destination”.

Carried out by consulting specialists Delloite, the study was ordered by the regional tourism board (RTA).

“There is great potential to guarantee that from the moment tourists arrive in the destination we are able to follow them, know where they are, what their preferences are, and provide experiences according to their profile,” said Deloitte partner, Rui Gidro.

“Being able to follow tourists and having the information to carry out an active management of the destination is a key aspect,” he told Lusa news agency.

The smart city concept involves a location where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital solutions for the benefit of its inhabitants, businesses and tourists.

Six other rival tourist regions were analysed in the study and found to be “investing heavily in terms of digitalisation and improving the experiences of tourists, especially among new generations,” Gidro said.

He added that the Algarve should agree upon a “clear vision of how to transform into a smart region” and a “concrete set of measures and initiatives to carry out on the ground” through apps, technological solutions and the creation of digital content.

Sustainability, accessibility, digital transformation, culture, heritage, creativity and innovation are singled out as the pillars of a smart destination, while a series of initiatives are described as priorities such as the creation of a data control centre with all the information gathered in the Algarve, or the expansion and improvements of free Wi-Fi hotspots.

The study also suggests the creation of apps which centralise information about civil protection, new personalised tourist routes or programmes, an innovative low season event programme, the implementation of smart irrigation systems and the dynamization of the Regional Observatory for Sustainable Tourism.

These initiatives should have the input of all the stakeholders in tourism, from the private to the public sector, said Gidro.

The consultor also said workers should be trained to develop their digital skills, helping them follow the technological development that will be carried out.

The real key, he added, should be choosing “three or four main projects and seeing them through to the end,” which would help pave the way for further projects to be carried out.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com