Telefónica and the UNWTO promote digital, sustainable and inclusive tourism

• The collaboration agreement will run until 2026 and will focus on digital entrepreneurship; innovation and application of new technologies (big data, artificial intelligence, etc.) and talent development.

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Telefónica and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ratify their commitment to cooperation through a new collaboration framework, valid until 2026, with the aim of promoting a more digital, sustainable and inclusive tourism development.

The United Nations specialised agency for tourism and Telefónica will continue to work together, globally, and will focus on three strategic axes of digital transformation that foster global and regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems; drive the adoption of technology in tourism; and promote capacity building for a more digital, sustainable and competitive tourism sector that leaves no one behind.

New projects, new scope

In this regard, Telefónica Tech, the operator’s strategic digital business unit, and the UNWTO will promote the ‘Digital Futures’ programme, which aims to accelerate the economic recovery of the tourism sector through the scaling of small and medium-sized enterprises with the incorporation of new technologies such as big data, IoT, AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and cloud. These digital tools have the capacity to transform companies to make them more competitive, sustainable and resilient, as they help to make better business decisions based on exhaustively analysed data and allow them to offer more personalised and competitive products and services, as well as optimising resources and increasing the profitability of the tourism sector.

In the framework of identifying disruptive projects that collaborate in the sustainability of the sector, Wayra Hispam, Telefónica’s open innovation area that connects the entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world, collaborates in the development of the Community Tourism Innovation Challenge in Colombia, of the World Tourism Organization with the support of the Vice-Ministry of Tourism of Colombia. The support is through mentoring that generates connections with the business and venture capital ecosystem and to which all entrepreneurs who are working to offer innovative solutions and drive development, taking into account local communities, and natural and cultural heritage, are invited.

On the other hand, training processes (reskilling and upskilling) will be addressed so that employees can develop and take advantage of the full potential that digitalisation brings to an industry that is so relevant to the economy of many countries.

To this end, training cycles in technologies applied to tourism will be offered by leading stakeholders with the aim of helping those who are beginning to take their first steps or who wish to develop their project. On the other hand, Telefónica and UNWTO will collaborate in learning actions through accessible content such as the Tourism, Gastronomy and Hospitality 4.0 Nanograde developed by Fundación Telefónica and CEOE through the UNWTO Digital Futures programme, focused on accelerating the economic recovery of the tourism sector through the growth of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


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