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in2destination within the Debate Forum “Sustainable Tourism in Mallorca”

By | Events, Medición, News | No Comments

On May 31 took place the Forum of Debate “Sustainable Tourism in Mallorca“, organized by the Fundación Alternativas with the support of Fundació Mallorca Turisme and the Consell de Mallorca through infomallorca.net. From here we want to thank them for the deference they had for inviting us to be part of it.

in2destination was an integral part of the first round table, in which we discussed the concept of “Socially Responsible Tourism“, together with Aurora Pedro, PhD in Economics from the University of Valencia and professor of “tourism policy” at the university and with Joaquín Nieto, director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations for Spain.

We had the opportunity to discuss the relevance or not of the definitions of sustainability and how these definitions should also be transferred to the field of measurement. In addition, we insist on highlighting the current challenges that exist regarding the measurement of tourism, especially from a sustainable and environmental approach. We also stressed that our vision is that Big Data is not the end, but the means to answer the questions that the sector poses as key issues, and not all are susceptible to be answered with Big Data, some need official statistics, records, interviews and other methodologies.

In the second round table, focused on the challenges and opportunities of tourism in Mallorca (and, by extension, in the rest of the islands), it was debated whether it is a destination that suffers intensity or saturation. The answers were in the way that this intensity is perceived and, therefore, it has to be managed, but that there was no deep saturation. Even so, it was clear that a debate is needed on how to face the growth of tourism in the destination, if it is appropriate to put a stop to it and if the Palma airport has reached its maximum capacity.

The conclusions reached by those present were in line with the importance of the role of governance in the decision-making process of consensus, the importance of measurement, the subsequent intelligent use of the data obtained and the need to respect the residents.

Fundación Alternativas highlighted the work they carried out for Gipuzkoa (work in which in2destination was also part of) with the objective of deepening the challenges in which to work. Thus, it was reported how the Government of Gipuzkoa has already begun to work with a greater development in depth of the Tourist Observatory of Gipuzkoa and with specific actions with subsidies and aid aimed at strengthening the sector.

The final message in2destination wants to underline is that real actions can be launched after an in-depth study of each case.

We are grateful, once again, for being able to participate in this enriching debate and we also thank the audience, as it was very participative with reflections and questions to which the panelists try to respond.

Interview to Ainara Merino, Sara Baceiredo and Adriana de la Cruz: Captura Camp

By | Entrevista, Interview, News | No Comments

in2destination, in its mission to give visibility to women’s work and to empower young women to have female role models, has interviewed Ainara Merino, Sara Baceiredo and Adriana de la Cruz. These three women, passionate about photography and in love with the landscapes of the Basque Country, have created Captura Camp, a project that combines tourism and photography with a clear perspective of sustainability.

 How does Captura Camp emerge?

Since we were little we always dreamed of going to some photography camps, meeting people with similar interests and having fun. Over the years, we are still attracted to photography but we combine it with our travels, in order to capture experiences, moments and situations, that is, we are passionate about photographic tourism. At the same time, we are aware that we do not have to go too far to find extravagant destinations because we have to appreciate what we have at home. Therefore, we want to make the Basque Country known, and we want to do it in a different way.

capturacamp_in2destination

What is Captura Camp and who is it for?

 We decided to create Captura Campo taking into account 3 basic points: photography, tourism and the landscapes of our area. Captura Camp is a photographic tourism camp that will take place in the Basque Country. This camp is designed and addressed to young people between 15-18 years old from all over Spain and in it; we will use photography as a tool to work on creativity, teamwork and responsibility towards our environment.

Responsible Tourism

 Just as everything evolves, Captura Camp also wants to be part of evolution. That is why we have incorporated the concept of sustainable tourism with the help of Nagore Espinosa, claiming the importance of the local, of reducing waste during the trip and getting under the skin of the culture.

We believe in the development of creative minds in young people, in the exciting discovery of new destinations, in team spirit and in a new concept of tourism.

Which is our mission?

To create an enjoyable experience that captures everything and makes a positive impact on our environment.

At Captura Camp, they have proposed to measure for themselves the impact of their camps on the territory and from in2destination, of course, we applaud them for this. Measuring is key so that in each edition of the camp it is known which areas need to be improved in order to continue progressing towards sustainability. Our best wishes!

 

Interview to Josefina Klinger: transforming lives through tourism

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Nagore Espinosa, CEO of in2destination has interviewed Josefina Klinger, director of Mano Cambiada, a non-profit corporation that promotes the social and integral development of the inhabitants of the Colombian Pacific. A passionate and persistent woman who transforms lives and provides opportunities from her homeland, Chocó (Colombia). Just another example of an incomparable woman, an inspiration to be followed by every girl in the world. For all this and for her specific labour in tourism, we count on her for our blog.

 [Note: due to the length of this interview, we are publishing below the most relevant messages of our conversation with her. At the end of the article a *.PDF file with the entire interview is available, only in Spanish thus far, apologies. Please note that this is a literal transcription of our conversation with her.]

josefina_klingerContextualization

“We are a natural pantry and an environmental wealth, that is one of our main assets, but the other principal and most important asset, which complements this binomial of gold, as we say, is the people, our people, who we are, our essence, our worldview of life and death, our peaceful spirit and the cultural wealth we have.”

“We decided to do a marketing strategy to only generate positive news, we needed the brand but we needed to be generating positive information every day.”

“… of about 45 kilometres of beach, today the natives do not even own 1 because they sold everything and I had anguish or fear that the same would happen to us as other similar destinations: Cartagena, Capurganá, San Andrés itself, where we were not in the real dynamic, being protagonist and host in the tourist activity. So, it was at that moment when I began to understand that threat, but I also began to see the opportunity that the activity had.”

“I began to realize that the visitor no longer wanted those destinations where you just go for a walk, the visitor wants experiences, wants to live authentic and unique experiences, and with this territory and this cultural magic we have just the added differentiating value that can guarantee that experience in an authentic way. That was also what I was visualizing because I began to understand that for any process to develop, a territory to develop, you need to have a territory, incredible people and money. If we already had the territory and we had the incredible people, what we needed was to revitalize the economy.”

“For us as natives it is our commitment to life, it is a territory where our navel is buried, where we make our history and it is a territory that gains strength which goes much further than economics for us.”

How does Mano Cambiada emerge?

“…we intended to make tourism in a territory with all its basic needs unsatisfied, without potable water, without energy, without good quality schools, without business opportunities, etc., an oversight that I will always assume to be a shared responsibility.”

“I understood that this dynamic had to be developed by whoever was awake and aware of wanting to do it, and that is difficult because of different reasons. First of all, nobody cares about you, we do not all have the same vision, people believe that living in the day-to-day is enough, then they do not measure the impact that can happen in a few years and it was very complicated. So in order to have a valid face, that institutionally we could be there, as in the agenda and at the tables, there was the need to create the Mano Cambiada Corporation.”

 “… what was at stake was the autonomy in the territory, the empowerment and, above everything, the ability to define our future in a decisive way, in the whole dimension of what tourism actually means. In 2006 we created the Mano Cambiada Corporation, which was born to promote development, using ecotourism as a strategy.”

“Even today, after so many years, we still find reticence in our way of doing things, in our way of understanding tourism: people do not measure what we really want with tourism activity, tourism has to be seen in its entirety in an integral way“.

Mano Cambiada, defending sustainable tourism

“We reach souls, it makes the territory, and we complement it with logistical support and with great affection the hosts of this territory. There is a before and an after of knowing the Chocó and to whom we are part of it.”

“Of course we wanted to make a model not of going out to sell a particular hotel, but of selling an experience and the experience is not made by the hotel. It is made when you commit the one who sells the biche, the one who makes the cocadas, the one who makes the crafts, the one who provides the service…”.

“Mano Cambiada (Changed Hand) means profession barter, exchange of trade, exchange of labour.”

“In tourism, we apply this model. In order to be able to apply this model the first thing you have to renounce to a little is the desire to capitalize individually and quickly. You have to understand that tourism is a system, that the neighbor is not my competitor but my counterpart, that I can specialize in what comes from my soul and I know how best to do and that the other one specializes and get to have relationships of peers and trust to put the same objective in common.”

“… you cannot at every moment control the same quality, the standardization of the experience, but when you have the patience to choose your value chain, that generates a relationship so beautiful, that we are seeing it materialized today.”

“There have to be some criteria, it has to be environmentally friendly, it has to avoid involving children in the negative impacts of tourism activity. Someone who works with us in our value chain cannot allow bad practices in his or her environment cannot allow bad environmental practices.”

“In the operation to mitigate environmental impacts, we start by complying with our own house. We are in a protected area and more than because of that fact; it is because it is incorporated into our way of thinking and feeling the territory.

“Besides, what we are contributing to is that we are raising awareness among the children and young people so that they also understand that the environment must be better, as we would like it to be in the whole of our destiny”.

The feeling of belonging

 “… we needed to create a trademark that would identify us when we saw it (…) we could finally make this black woman with the jungle on her head, which is a territorial trademark that shows our beauty, our direct look and our open smile (…) we are now related to people, and for us it is that even though this still needs to be strengthened, with this information and with this image we are beginning to change the imaginary of our own people, who today identify with it, but, above all, of the visitor who comes and says: I want to be there and I want to go and meet people like this. In other words, with this we are transmitting and beginning to change the imaginary inside and outside the territory“.

“We have brought more than 1200 children to visit the Utría Park, so that they can begin to associate the jungle and water (…) as a synonym of happiness so that one day they can help to positively transform the reality of what is missing, because the main thing is already there. We organize a festival, which is the festival of peaceful migration in which we raise environmental awareness. We transmit how to honor three relevant species that visit us from June to October, but how to add to that this cultural value from music, from theatre, from dance, from ancestral practices such as sailing boats, cooking, how to enjoy music, how to make some troupe, how to judge and how to be happy. These all make us go to our ninth festival and the children who started with nine years old can now be young people of 17 and we have already seen how we have influenced them. It is the only way for young people that one day understand that staying in the territory does not make them less important, that it makes them very brave because there are many things they still have to challenge.

Current Challenges

What we are doing is a process of human transformation using ecotourism as a strategy. We want to generate a model of sustainable development and we want to become a world reference of how an empowered community can help transform its reality by looking for partners or allies who live in the same dimension, challenging their own fears.”

“…. to continue accompanying the children in their dreams in this territory so that they can sit back and rest peacefully from a tree and be able to see how this territory is managed with a lot of responsibility, a lot of sense of belonging, how tourists are received and how we contribute to the well-being, not only of ourselves but of humanity“.

 

Total interview to Josefina Klinger (ESP): in2destination_Josefina Klinger

NECSTouR Workshop “Better places to live, better places to visit”

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Within the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, NECSTouR and the Catalan Tourism Agency, which currently hosts the NECSTouR presidency, organised a relevant workshop entitled “Better places to live, better places to visit” in Barcelona on April 19th at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona.

Dr. Nagore Espinosa, in her double role as CEO of in2destination and INRouTe network expert and coordinator, participated as moderator in the round table “Putting culture and citizens: at the center of the tourism experience”.

The focus of the event, and of this roundtable, was the triangle: Culture, Visitor, Resident and how we should develop cities for the well-being of our residents, and what is good for the resident will be good for the visitor, and how the development and promotion of culture is key for our residents and for the sustainable development of tourism.

In addition, a key element of the event was the presentation to the physical and streaming audience of the Barcelona Declaration on Tourism and Cultural Heritage, which represents a clear commitment to ensure the sustainability of the cultural heritage, its territory and destination and to generate a balanced benefit between the culture, the host community and tourists.

Nagore Espinosa in TEDx VitoriaGasteiz

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Nagore Espinosa has been a speaker the past April 14th at “Towards a More Sustainable Tourism”, with the TED talk “Towards a More Sustainable Tourism”, addressing the relevance of shifting the current tourism development models to achieve sustainability, inclusiveness and smarter destinations, seeing tourism measurement as a core axis.

Nagore had the chance of explaining how we are traditionally governed by models of tourism development in which the resident person is not taken into consideration. In fact, models that do not study in depth whether the tourist’s expenditure benefits the resident community or whether it is income that leaves the country; a model, after all, that requires a change of mentality on the part of institutions as well as on the part of private companies and the tourist themselves.

The tourism sector is a complex sector that integrates several layers. From the territory itself to the person travelling to a destination, through the people living there and to the infrastructure of the place (running water, electricity, communications or sanitary infrastructure). All of this is part of the same system: from a sustainable tourism perspective, all these layers are interconnected and need to be managed in a coordinated manner and be balanced in order to achieve non-intrusive growth in the long term.

People who attended this presentation witnessed examples of tourism overcrowding, how other destinations around the world are addressing this situation and what to do on their travels to be an active part of the change. If you could not attend, you can see Nagore Espinosa’s participation here.

 

in2destination supporting MITOMED+

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in2destination team has had the pleasure of being part of the event “Building sustainable coastal and maritime tourism policies for med destinations”, which is an initiative within the European MITOMED+ project. This project aims at implementing the MITOMED+ measurement and monitoring system for the sustainability of tourism activity in 15 destinations in Mediterranean Europe.

The event was organized by the SAETA team of the Regional Government of Andalusia, with the support of in2destination and the Tuscany Region as the leader of the MITOMED+ project.

mitomed_in2destination

During the congress, the development and implementation of measurement indicators and their subsequent use in the formulation of tourism policies were discussed. In addition, relevant experts from the UNWTO, the European Statistical System, the European Commission, representatives of other European destinations and academic researchers have also provided their opinions.

Here we share the video of the conclusions of the congress issued by Dr. Nagore Espinosa, CEO of in2destination and expert and coordinator of INRouTe.

4YFN gathers crowd that start-up would not otherwise meet

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The first participation of in2destination in 4YFN has been highly positive. For this consulting and tourism research company to be present at this fair, a real hotbed of ideas, has been a great opportunity to achieve its goal to state what they do and why they do it: work for a smart, sustainable and inclusive tourism for all.

in2destination was part of the Pitch the Press session on February 27, a direct encounter with journalists from different national and international media. The sensations were very positive and several professionals congratulated the team for the real applications that their products and services have for the tourism industry. Also on February 28 Nagore Espinosa, CEO of in2destination made a pitch to investors and the general public in a session dedicated to mobility, session that repercusionned getting more interesting contacts.

4YFN_in2destination

4YFN is, ultimately, a powerful platform for the projection of technology start-ups: without this type of events would be impossible. 4YFN is a very positive environment in which the tourism industry has had quite weight as demonstrated by the participation of several start-ups in the sector. And, is that, tourism, technology and innovation must go hand in hand to achieve smart tourism.

4YFN

The support that the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, ICEX and red.es have given to the companies of the Spanish Pavilion and, in particular to in2destination, has been noted with the presence in mass media and social networks as with the recording of a video, posted on youtube, interviewing Nagore Espinosa PhD., as well as with the visit of Minister Álvaro Nadal to in2destination stand. This visit has been a great opportunity to explain first-hand the work of in2destination and for the Minister to ratify the importance of both data collection and its subsequent use in decision-making to continue towards the development of smart, sustainable and inclusive tourism in Spain.

Nagore Espinosa Interviews Ms. Assel Nurkebayeva, CEO Visit Almaty

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Recently, a business trip has offered me the chance to experience a bit of the wonders Kazakhstan has to offer and one of them is clearly Almaty city and region. Thanks to that, I had the opportunity of interviewing  Assel Nurkebayeva, CEO of Visit Almaty an organization that has been recently created to promote tourism in this region. Before starting the interview let me share with you the amazing video that Ms. Nurkebayeva kindly sent us.

Nagore Espinosa: Ms. Nurkebayeva, first of all, thank you for accepting this interview. This first question is obvious: I know Visit Almaty as an organization has been recently created; please tell us, tourism professionals, how is it creating a DMO from scratch?

Assel Nurkebayeva: Thank you for visiting us and for giving this opportunity for the interview. It is always hard to create something from scratch, and especially if the country does not have any experience in working with DMO’s. Two years ago governmental authorities and businesses came to the understanding that we need a proper management and strategy for further developing inbound tourism. Now we are making our first steps. Our National DMO Kazakh Tourism was opened around two months ago. We opened our office around four months ago, but I think we have accomplished a large number of things during this short period.

Everything that was created before: programs, concepts, they were created without an adequate scientifically based approach and discussion with stakeholders. Now we are conducting a study, and it will provide a real methodology, an understanding of what needs to be done to develop tourism, in Almaty in particular. Our conclusions and proposals will be automatically extrapolated to the whole country: our work can be taken as a basis for the development of tourism in all regions. We are attracting experts from UNWTO, such as yourself, and professors from leading universities in the world. It will help us getting some recommendations and maybe partly solve the problem of not having well prepared human capital in tourism by training some candidates.

We plan to create the Almaty City Pass application. It will be “heavy”. I looked over the applications that are used in other countries, analyzed them and found that there is something missing in each of them. I decided to create the application so that it had everything in it – where to go, what to eat, what to see, etc. Plus, there will be a quality assessment system. The tourist makes an assessment. I can see it in my computer whether he liked it or not, for example, in a restaurant. If he didn’t like it, I call to the owner and talk about it. In this way we will improve the quality. Visit Almaty will take part in this directly.

Nagore Espinosa: After these months, could you tell me if the tourism business sector is responding well to the initiatives you and your team are pushing forward?

Assel Nurkebayeva: I myself have been working in the tourism sector since 1999. Despite my current role within a public DMO, most of my career has been in the private tourism sector, so I understand all the needs and challenges tourism businesses face. That is why we try to cooperate with businesses and other stakeholders, it is impossible to develop tourism without collaborating. I am also the president of the Association of Kazakhstan Tourism Agencies, where I have set the first stone in connecting all tourism agencies in Kazakhstan. Tourism businesses respond very well because they see me as their colleague and it breaks the tension that usually appears when businesses start to see governmental authorities. What we want to do is to connect all the businesses with each other and show them that team-work is more beneficial for everyone.

We are creating our web site www.visitalmaty.kz. It is still under revision. One of the reasons is that we faced a huge problem. It is impossible to get information. We send inquiries to museums, for example, and they ask: why do you need this information? They are afraid. They do not understand that we will advertise them for free on the site, their site will be visited by more tourists if they are linked to ours, they will be able to gain more revenue.

Even tour operators do not understand why we want to get some information from them. We asked, for example, how many tourists they had brought in groups from January till now. The answer is the same: what do you need it for? I need to understand what kind of help the companies need. I will report this information to the city administration. Perhaps, through the subsidy program, tour companies will be helped with working capital. After hard work with the stakeholders, the connection is getting better.

 

Nagore Espinosa: In fact, it is really a shocking situation. On the other hand, currently there is more outbound tourism that inbound tourism to Kazakhstan, which means that many of us are missing everything that Kazakhstan has to offer, maybe because we associate your country to oil, metals and grain exports. In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions us foreigners usually have regarding Kazakhstan?

Assel Nurkebayeva: Most of the foreigners perceive Kazakhstan as one of the “Stans” like Pakistan or Afghanistan. Our country is very developed, safe and unique in its own way. I think you could feel it during your visit. We are very friendly and we have our nomadic culture. We have extraordinary cuisine with the horse meat on the top list. Kazakhstan is a secular, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society where Christianity and Judaism flourish alongside the Muslim faith. It celebrates freedom of religion for all. One of the strongest tourism assets that we have is untouched nature which is protected by national parks and other authorities. “Borat” has nothing to do with our country, but it created a black PR for Kazakhstan.

Abay Opera House - Almaty

[Abay Opera House – Almaty]

Nagore Espinosa: Please tell us the key four or five experiences we shouldn’t miss if we decide to visit Almaty.

Assel Nurkebayeva: The interesting thing about Almaty is that five experiences are not enough. If we consider only eco tourism, you can visit canyon, desert, forest, waterfall, trees inside the lake and any kind of mountains in couple of days, just commuting from Almaty. It’s also about cuisine, modern culture inside the city, which is partly mixed with the culture that you can see at the ethno-villages. Luxury lifestyle and cult of cafeterias. You can have coffee, sit outside and enjoy the view of mountains. The climate is very soft and warm, so you can connect with nature 100%.

 

Nagore Espinosa: During the time I spent in your country, I found you very warm and caring, outgoing and friendly, more so than I had expected. Moreover, I would say that I loved how proud you are about your nomad past, your gastronomy and customs. How do you think this attitude and inherent character can help develop tourism in Almaty? What would you say about you as host community?

Assel Nurkebayeva: Kazakhs are very hospitable and we are really proud of our nomadic past. Our ancestors were moving from one place to another during the year, that is why we do not have many historical constructions as in Europe. However, we played one of the key roles between two huge empires of Russia and China, and we were the home of silk road where the trade started to develop. Kazakhstan is still the bridge between Asia and Europe. Historically, Kazakh people were very hospitable and always welcomed the travelers, even if they were strangers. This is a uniqueness of our nomadic culture. We have to connect this link between historical hospitality and modern tourism and create perfect host community. May be it will require a different approach and change in mentality, but we have all the assets and hope for the bright future of tourism.