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Tourism in Spain aspires to be a sustainability leader: A key message from Travel Weekly’s “Sustainability Summit”

On the 24th November, the “Sustainability Summit”, organised by Travel Weekly, was held. Our president and technical director, Esteban Delgado, participated in the discussion panel, along with Pedro Medina, Deputy Director of the Spanish Tourist Office UK and Megan Parkinson, Head of Sustainability for the Latin American Travel Association.

Here we give you a few of the summit’s key messages, which are important if you want to keep up to date regarding the tourism industry’s sustainability and innovation future:

Currently, Spain is one of the countries which invests the most in digitization and sustainability projects. In the race to become the most sustainable destination, it is taking the lead with its 3.4 billion euro investment. According to Pedro Medina, their intention is clear: To be a sustainability leader.

In light of this, we confirm that tourism has undergone a natural and necessary transformation towards sustainability. “It took us 20 years to achieve safe destinations with regards to gastric illnesses. We need to move faster to consolidate sustainable destinations” Esteban Delgado assured us.

With regards to sustainability, tourism lagged behind other industries because there was “no data” to improve indicators, identify problems or create solutions. Esteban Delgado stated that the key to begining managing sustainability effectively was: To collect data and then measure and monitor progress. A science-based approach. A good example of this is overall water consumption. All hotels know their consumption, but don't know how to manage that information in order to improve results. For this, Preverisk provides innovative technological solutions to manage and measure water consumption correctly. Esteban told us “Currently, we have several pilot projects underway in Mallorca, using flowmeters which have sensors”.

Megan Parkinson, explained that there is a lot of “green secretism” in Latin America. Something that many tourist companies suffer from. They do not sufficiently promote all the initiatives carried out. A sustainability project, however small, requires a large amount of effort in any business operation. Many remain in the development and implementation phase, but few report their projects. It is important that we transmit to the world our sustainable initiatives.

The "Sustainability Summit" reinforced our intentions further: Tourism will be sustainable, it is an inescapable reality. What are you waiting for to take the plunge?

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