The Azores was one of the 50 European destinations selected to integrate the “Smart Tourism Destinations” Project, an initiative of the European Commission that aims to support European Union destinations to improve tourism services and experiences through innovative digital solutions.

The Azores DMO, which is part of the Regional Secretariat for Transport, Tourism and Energy, was formally notified that Destination Azores was one of the destinations selected to participate in the project, through the European ‘call’ EU Destinations Managers.

The selection of the Azores to participate in this project reinforces the region’s positioning as a reference destination on the map of the most sustainable, innovative European destinations with the capacity to lead new development paradigms.

The project comprises the participation in a set of training and capacity building activities in the management of sustainable destinations, with the aim of improving efficiency in the management capacity and data reading at the service of tourism.

The participants selected to join this European Commission initiative will also form part of a community of elite European destinations, which will allow for the sharing of knowledge on good smart tourism practices.

The participation of the Azores in this project is enthusiastically seen by Mário Mota Borges, Regional Secretary responsible for Tourism, as “a valuable learning opportunity”, since the initiative will establish the roots of collaboration, sharing of knowledge and exchange of experiences and best practices within the European Union’s tourism ecosystem.

Mário Mota also mentioned that it is urgent for the region to move “towards a model of smart tourism, where decisions are made in an informed way and supported by reliable and up-to-date data, in line with the fundamental premises of the European Commission guidelines for the digital transition in tourism”.

The assumptions of the certification of the Azores as a “Sustainable Tourist Destination” had great relevance in the application and selection process, since the demonstration of evidence of data use in the context of tourist destination management was a fundamental requirement.

The performance of the Azores DMO, as well as the entire certification process, is based on a data-based approach with the aim of facilitating the sustainable development of the Azores tourist destination, together with partners from the public and private sector, supporting the adoption of effective solutions for this purpose.

Source: Governo dos Açores