The event presented to 25 on-site and over 57 on-line participants the findings of the T4BS project, running since 2019, which explores European pathway towards a resilient and competitive tourism ecosystem, sustainable tourism destinations and services, and digitalisation of tourism.
The Forum discussed opportunities and challenges of co-creating a vision of a sustainable, digital transition towards a resilient tourism ecosystem, with respect to the EU Green Deal and the Digital Decade.
A key success factor is digitalisation. Digitalisation is a driver for resilient, sustainable tourism in Europe. The Forum primarily focused on data and how data can be leveraged towards this goal, including Big data good practices.
The following key challenges were addressed in highly interactive panel sessions:
● Lack of data-sharing among players to support data-enabled solutions.
● Low level of digitalisation of tourism destinations.
● Insufficient knowledge base of the tourism ecosystem (monitoring, identification of data sources, data leveraging).
Keynote speakers and panellists included Valentina Superti, Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), Carl Hartzell, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Georgia, Laszlo Borbely, the State Counsellor to the Prime Minister in the Government of Romania, Rositsa Stoeva, Executive Manager in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) PERMIS, Peter Janech, Deputy Director of the Regional Department for Europe of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), George Tziallas, Regional Director for Europe and Africa for the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Patrizia Busolini, Policy Officer from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime affairs and fisheries (DG MARE), Agnieszka Kempny, Project manager from the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), Stavros Kalognomos, Executive Secretary, Balkan and Black Sea Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), and the project promoters.
Tomi Ilijas, CEO Arctur
“Project Tourism 4.0 for the Black Sea is an important contribution towards achieving the green and digital transition for the tourism ecosystem, for the Black Sea and beyond. […] We need to develop, use and share better data.”
Valentina Superti, Director, DG GROW, European Commission
“The conference will help elevate everyone’s understanding of the potential of digital tourism, and lay the ground for stronger, more connected, and diverse tourism sector through the means of modern technology.”
Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia
The T4BS High-Level Forum is promoted as part of the Tourism 4.0 for Black Sea (T4BS) project funded by the EU through the European Maritime and Fishery Fund (EMFF). The project strives to enable local tourism stakeholders from the public and private sectors to increase their understanding of current digitalisation trends, patterns of tourist flows, and impact of visitors, as well as predict the tourist impact of strategic, data-driven decisions. The aim is to foster more sustainable tourism in the future.
Video: The T4BS High-Level Forum