From thought-provoking keynotes and presentations to insightful discussions on use cases, the event was packed with stimulating content for rebuilding tourism across Europe.
16 June 2022 – Brussels, Belgium: On 9 June 2022, Gaia-X, the only European project committed to data sovereignty to boost the digital economy, hosted its third data space event series focusing on the tourist industry, the importance to build such an ecosystem and its future within Gaia-X.
Visioners of the tourism business gathered under the Gaia-X umbrella to discuss the future of tourism. An impressive agenda allowed people from tourism backgrounds at all levels to discuss one of the most GDP-valuable industries in Europe and the world; an industry that was seriously depleted during and after the pandemic
Carme Artigas Brugal, Secretary of State for Digitalisation and AI at the Spanish National Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation stressed the importance of the tourism sector “Finally, we are giving the tourism the importance it deserves also in the data economy. At the EU level, the tourism sector directly contributes to almost 4% of GDP with 2.3 million businesses, majority of which are SMEs”.
Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X, further extrapolated Madam Artigas Brugal” In 2018 1/10 of European enterprises in the non-financial business economy belonged to tourism industries. These 2.3 million enterprises employed more than 12 million people. Enterprises in tourism account for 9.5% of persons employed in the old non-financial business economy and 22.4% of persons employed in the service sector. So, this multi-billion-euro market is one of the most impactful areas we can think about if we decide to invest to create a common European data space.”
Gaia-X hosted practitioners from the industry. Maribel Rodríguez, Senior Vice-President, Membership Commercial & Events at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), presented hopeful statistics on the tourism industry’s rebirth after a steep two years of decline. According to Maribel Rodríguez, global GDP recovery in 2021, in comparison to 2020, is already 21.7%, while the forecast for 2022 predicts 43.7% (2022 to 2021).
Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education, and Investments at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in her powerful speech, stressed the importance of education “(…) tourism is the main employer of women and youth. Nonetheless, 50% of young, talented minds working in tourism only have secondary skills. If we want to develop a high-level economic sector, we need to develop education”.
The Tourism Data Space event was especially essential to Gaia-X’s efforts to create a federated, sovereign, and interoperable data ecosystem, since SMEs make up the bulk of the tourism industry, and Gaia-X works diligently to support them, fully immerse and engage them alongside other small, medium and large companies.
Moderators of the second Chapter of the webinar, Olivier Dion (CTO, Themis-X), Alessio Sidoti (EU consultant, Intellera Consulting) and Silvia Castellvi (Senior Consultant, IDSA) stimulated three sessions on #1 Smart Destinations, #2 Tourism value chain and #3 Technological enablers.
The Gaia-X Communications team, an inspiring, passionate and very creative experts led by Vassilia Orfanou, CMO of Gaia-X, alongside Dolores Ordóñez, Director at AnySolution and Vice-President of Spanish Gaia-X Hub, Olivier Dion Themis-X’s CTO, Alessio Sidoti, EU consultant at the Intellera Consulting, and Silvia Castellvi, Senior Consultant at IDSA brought together an impressive event of exceptional content and a serious line-up of 33 speakers across Europe, ensuring a series of stimulating discussions delivered to 250 attendees from 21 countries.
Special thanks to Alberto Gago Fernandez, Advisor at the CAB of the Spanish Secretary of State for Digital and AI, Alberto Palomo, State Secretariat for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence/CDO – Spanish Government and Governmental Advisory Board of Gaia-X, and Dolores Ordóñez, Director AnySolution, vice-president of the Spanish Gaia-X hub for supporting the Association and its 360 communications team to organise this important Tourism Data Space Event, aiming to spark the future of Digital economy, with Tourism being one of its cornerstone sectors that truly deserve our attention, not just for now – but for the future. Wishing to check the previous data space events surrounding Health and Mobility, please follow the respective links.
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The next data space event is dedicated to Agriculture and will take place on 7 September 2022, followed by the Manufacturing event, on 17 October 2022. This year’s Gaia-X 2022 Summit will take place in Paris on 17-18 November.