More than 70 people meet in Catalonia for the Med Pearls Tourism Bridge Event
Within the framework of the Med Pearls project, the Catalan Tourist Board organized a Bridge Event under the theme Tourism & Metaverse: a threat or an opportunity?
In this article we present you with a summary of the event, two videos on the 3-day activity and a specific video about the Tourism and the Metaverse session for those readers wanting to learn more about the topic.
Bridge Event: the experience in a video format
Video of the Med Pearls Bridge Event in Catalonia: Part 1 and part 2
Bridge Event: participants, activities and opinions!
The Bridge Event took place between the 3rd and the 5th of March 2022 in Barcelona, Anoia and Les Garrigues. The event counted with 78 participants. To be concrete, and as the graph below shows, the event hosted 38 invited companies, 8 of which were ICT companies and 30 Tourism agencies. From those tourism agencies, 11 were Med Pearls subgrantees. To add into the total 78 participants, the event counted with 16 Med Pearls partners from the different regions, 8 local participants from the pilot areas and 15 associates. As associates, we include the presence of a member of the JTS, mentors, brand expert or project technical assistance.
The Catalan Tourist Board organized slow tourism activities, working sessions and visits to the Catalan counties of Anoia and Les Garrigues, two of the three regions that have been chosen to be pilot areas in Catalonia. The central axis of this of the Bridge Event is the relation between technology and tourism, which is also one of the central axes for developing a new tourism model in Catalonia. The project activities were:
As seen, the Bridge Event included a visit to the Mobile World Congress where all attendees were able to get closer to the latest developments in the digital environment which have been presented this year. Six different tours were organized and guided by members of the Catalan Tourist Board. The tours had the goal to see the direct application and link between technology and tourism. The tours were:
Another highlight was the dedicated session on Tourism & Metavers roundtable: a threat or an opportunity? held in the county of Anoia and featured speakers such as Sonia Huerta, Head Destination of Mabrian, Barbara Prodinger, CEO of Liviar, Carlos Molina, co-founder of Multiversial, and Pierre Bourdin, Professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Previous to the round table, the event counted with an official welcome from Marta Domènech Tomàs, director of the Catalan Tourism Directorate, Alejandro Lafarga, representing the ENI CBC MED and Dani Gutiérrez, minister of Tourism of the Regional Council of l'Anoia. They highlighted the need for cooperation and collaboration to build a sustainable future.
Regarding the conferene, Pierre Bourdin, started providing the academic vision; a context and definition of what is the Metaverse. Then Carlos Molina took from there to explore the opportunities for tourism on new strategies, this was followed by Sonia Huerta who followed a similar approach but talking from the touristic sector rather than the technological. Finally, Barbara Prodinguer explained how her company is already using VR to provide users with touristic experiences. She explained how her company does so.
Tourism and the Metaverse session
In addition, the participating organizations had the chance to visit the Montbui Castle in Anoia, visit cave paintings in Les Garrigues and do an oil tasting activity, a very Mediterranean activity. To supplement the activities, the Catalan Tourist Board organized a dedicated section on networking where the companies had the chance to network. This was specially important since the invited companies came both from different countries and from different backgrounds, ICT and tourism.
The selected places to do the activities were selected according to their local slow tourism values. The participants spent time at Can Macià, Can Bonastre or Sommiatruites, local places with their own special beauty and particularities. All the places were selected because of their Slow Tourism aspects.
The following the map shows all the locations where the Bridge Event took place:
Overall, the event was very successful. The participants gave an overall score of 4,2 out of 5 which proved that the efforts paid off. In addition, most of the answers have been above 4 out of 5 and on the qualitative side, the organization and management of the event has been argued to be very good. Finally, we want to point out that the event provided to 83% of participants new ideas to innovate or get inspired by and to 88% new contacts and/or business opportunities.
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