26 Feb Businesses want to modernise, as demonstrated at the Innovatur Workshops
Innovatur Workshops bring together companies from the commercial and accommodation sectors of the participating tourist destinations to discuss the concepts of innovation, modernisation and competitiveness on which this European project centres
There is widespread awareness of the need for tourist destinations to renew themselves to remain competitive. Companies are also very conscious of this need. “INNOVATUR provides further support alongside everything that’s being done to reactivate the destination. It’s different administrations joining forces on a single path: that of renewal. It implies collaboration, not only between public and private entities, but between different regions”, says Manuel Siverio, who represents a hotel in Puerto de la Cruz and attended the workshop held in this municipality.
Workshops were held in Madeira and the Azores at the end of 2017, and in Puerto de la Cruz and Los Cristianos on 21 and 22 February. They introduced the Interreg-MAC cooperation project to the business community and explained its aim to modernize the tourist destinations of Tenerife, Funchal and Terceira Island through the creation of business models that offer products which are better aligned to tourists’ new demands. The workshops have focused on explaining what INNOVATUR offers, publicising the tools used to drive through this modernization and giving examples of successful innovation in the commercial and accommodation sectors.
“The most rewarding aspect was finding out about the Innovatur project and having the opportunity to be able to implement it, of being able to be one of those selected and thus continue adapting to the new demands of the market, innovating and reinventing ourselves. In short, having the opportunity to become more competitive”, says María Dolores Reyes, who runs a business in Puerto de la Cruz. Darina Pérez runs an accommodation business in Los Cristianos. She considers that the success stories shared have been particularly important, “they’re very helpful, especially those that have incorporated elements of digitisation and adaptation of the spaces to the brand”. Sancha Cruz, from the Angra do Heroísmo Chamber of Commerce in the Azores, agrees with her. She says that key for those who attended the workshop in Angra do Heroísmo was “the example of planning and repositioning of Puerto de la Cruz and the tools used in the implementation”.
Luis Gutiérrez, Head of Tourism at the Tenerife Island Council, has had the opportunity to be present in the four destinations where these workshops have been held. “I’ve seen really strong participation from the business sector”, he says. They want to be part of Innovatur”. And this is recognized by the businesspeople themselves: “The INNOVATUR project is necessary because Tenerife is a destination to which tourists make repeat visits and, therefore, it has to evolve”, says Pérez. For Ten, it’s an essential programme for Los Cristianos “because it is an area that needs its businesses to be reactivated”. Similarly, Reyes says that “for Puerto de la Cruz, it will mean an end to being considered an obsolete destination”.
Although they all acknowledge having already put themselves forward for this modernization plan, as Ricardo Martínez from Turismo de Tenerife explains, “now begins a process of assessing the companies registered in the project, of selection and making contact with them and then of starting to advise them in order to bring about the desired changes”.