European Tourism Forum: Role of cooperation is key for successful digital transformation in tourism sector
Tourism experts from EU Member States’ public administrations and key stakeholders met at the European Tourism Forum in Helsinki on 9–10 October 2019 to exchange views on digital transformation in the tourism sector.
The topic of their discussions was how to harness digital transformation to create sustainable growth in the EU’s tourism sector. The focus was on three key topics: impact of digital transformation for tourism businesses, innovation agility and data management.
Digitalisation transforms tourism and enables sustainability
Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union stresses how important digital transformation is for boosting sustainability in tourism. Technological solutions enable us not only to offer a wider range of tourism services on a sustainable basis, but also to make use of the tourism infrastructure and manage the destinations more efficiently than before.
“Digital transformation opens up new opportunities for sustainable growth in tourism. Businesses should be aware of the rapidly growing demand for sustainable tourism services,” says Sanna Kyyrä, Chief Specialist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
“Digitalisation serves to meet the needs of consumers better and better. For that, we need information on consumer preferences and values,” she continues.
Focus on capacity building and SMEs
The tourism sector is characterised by a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises that need support in digital skills. The European Tourism Forum found it important that companies of different sizes have equal opportunities to benefit from digitalisation. Skills and business models need to be updated in the European tourism sector to enable success in global competition.
European cooperation must be intensified, notably by sharing experiences and learning from others. The Tourism Forum stressed that information and data should be accessible and available for everyone so that the common good can be achieved. Information and data enable us to develop better services and more sustainable practices in the tourism sector. Data management and access to information are essential requirements for knowledge-based management.
Held in Helsinki on 9–10 October 2019, the European Tourism Forum was attended by tourism experts from EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament. This was the 18th edition of the Forum and the first one hosted in Finland. Part of Finland’s Presidency Programme, the event was jointly organised by Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the European Commission.
Sanna Kyyrä, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7012