Tourism Factory to revolutionise sector in the Canarias
FIT Canarias was launched in the CDTCA, the Adeje Centre for Tourism Development, this morning (Decembe 19th), with Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga, Tenerife Cabildo president Carlos Alonso, Ashotel president Jorge Marichal and Jose Luis Garcia Martinez president of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife chamber of commerce taking part in a round table discussion to introduce the concept to the industrial sector representatives present at the launch and discuss revolutionising the sector.
The FIT will be a space dedicated to the nurturing creativity and innovation in the tourism sector with the objective being to move Tenerife’s tourism sectors towards becoming ‘intelligent destinations’. Giving the introductory speech, Amalio Ray, an expert in the field of innovation in industry, spoke of changing focuses and directions, making citizens and residents the primary priority in tourist destination, implicating them directly in moving forward and developing the destination in a positive light, generating a better tourist experience. He warned against confusing intelligence with technology. A ‘smart’ destination needs more than technology, it needs quality, cohesion, diversity, humour…and much more. He also spoke of the need to turn tourism thinking on its head in many respects, create hybrid tourist products and offers combining, for instance, tourism with art, architecture, agriculture or history. Tourism stereotyping he called a ‘cancer’.
Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga said that the Adeje council have taken on board the fact that development and particuarly this development plays a key part in the evolution of a top class tourism borough. He said that FIT was “an open tool which would be driven by content, a meeting point for exchanging ideas, for assessment, help, a place to seek partnerships with organisations working in other fields”. The mayor also said that “a key element is the human factor, tourism is something that can generate benefits for the resident population and this has to be the priority, and the tourist is also a citizen and we have to produce in them an experience that is positive before, during and after their stay in our destination. Tourism is our opportunity. Tourism will continue to be our strategic motor and in that regard we have to guard this resource, invent and reinvent continuously, and we have the talent here to to that. We have already done a lot and done it well, but now we face new challenges and need to readjust the pieces to fit in a different manner”.
For his part the Cabildo president Carlos Alonso explained that the inauguration of FIT “was a project that was born of a question mark that wished to become an exclaimation mark through partnership with different tourism sectors that wished to improve”. He said FIT was like going to a gym, but instead of building up muscle in the FIT were helped develop creativity and innovation.
What is FIT Canaries?
The ‘heart’ of the Tourism Innovation Factory will be the particpating businesses and units that locate there, who will form part of the creative team in FIT, integrated in an multi-discipline group of professionals who will concentrate their efforts on coming up with ideas and ways of implementing new innovations.
FIT was conceived as centre of high returns which would be constantly seeking creative solutions to increasingly difficult challenges to the tourist sector which need to be met if competitivity is to be maintained. Tenerife will not just be known as a leading tourist destination but also as a pioneer in tourism innovation.
Even though the primary line of work of FIT will be intelligent tourist destinations, other areas will also be explored, such as commercialisation, products, marketing and promotion, distribution and loyalty.
FIT Living Labs: These are zones for exploration and development where help is available for the user including use of real examples. Active participation is enabled. The ultimate objective of the Living Lab is the creation of new products, services adapted for society’s daily needs. These services can be used publically or privately and the space can be given over to testing of prototypes and new technologies for improving citizen welfare with real and tested outcomes.
Networking Area: A space for collaboration between companies and/or individuals where ideas are generated and new projects explored. Here investment possibilities can be examined for new projects and businesses related to tourism.
Demo Area: Interactive space between different agents from the tourism sector and between other sectors. Users can get to know and try out new innovative products. It will also serve as a platform for launching new products, where companies can present their new ideas. Furthermore, this will be an open space for company visits and studies, a space where “something is always happening”.
Consultation Area: Assessment, help, assistance for companies exploring innovative ideas, improving the negotiating model or creating new models and detecting opportunities, improving existing tourism products, creating new ones, modernising an organisation internally or looking to introduce more competitive service.
Creative and Innovation Training Area. Open training and business courses. Workshops and sessions at different levels, from beginners to adanced to develop creative talent.
FIT Events Area: Organisation of various events related to innovation and creativity in the tourist sector. This space serves as a shop window for new trends and collaborative work between institutions, businesses and sucessful ventures.
FIT also offers a number of differently designed spaces for the development of creative talent and innovation. These include a FIT garden, a co-working space, a demo lab and a colour room.