FUTURE TOURISM PROGRAM:
DIAGNOSES ON THE LEVEL OF TECHNOLOGICAL READINESS OF TOURISM DESTINATIONS AND PREPARATION OF PRE-INVESTMENT PLANS
A call to accelerate technology innovation in the tourism destinations of Latin America and the Caribbean
Applications deadline March 30, 2022
Before the arrival of COVID-19, tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was experiencing a remarkable increase in recent years, becoming an important engine of growth and economic diversification. Estimates by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) suggest that in 2019, tourism accounted for 10% of total Latin American GDP and 14% of Caribbean GDP. Tourism was also responsible for 9% of total employment in Latin America and 15% in the Caribbean. Tourism has been one of the most affected sectors by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, the regional direct tourism GDP fell by half, much higher than the contraction of the services sector in general (-6%) and other activities such as industry (-7%). Tourism has been responsible for over a third of the 7% decline in regional GDP in 2020.
To consolidate the recovery of the tourism sector and face the post-pandemic challenges, it is essential to support the tourism business fabric, and to understand the new priorities of tourism demand. In this context, it is important to consider the role of new technologies. Before COVID-19, the tourism sector was already immersed in a digital transformation, with a disruptive effect on all production and consumption processes in the tourism sector. Therefore, when addressing the sector reactivation, it is key to incorporate technologies that allow strengthening the management of health safety, as well as the socio-environmental sustainability in tourism destinations.
In this context, this call will support a first set of destinations in the LAC region, determining their level of technological maturity and guiding them through the best management and technological investment instruments to face their respective challenges in terms of resilience, competitiveness, and sustainability.
Through this regional call, the Future Tourism Program -financed by the Spanish General Cooperation Fund at the IDB- aims to accelerate the transfer of digital and emerging technologies (such as virtual reality, blockchain, etc.) towards the resolution of resilience, competitiveness, and socio-environmental sustainability challenges in LAC tourist destinations, as well as to stimulate a network coordination of the regional tourism ecosystem.
Who can participate?
This call is launched to select TEN destinations located in the Bank's borrowing countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC):
Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Eligible destinations: Eligible destinations must be relevant -in terms of arrivals and tourist spending- in the context of the country in which they are located, and therefore only consolidated destinations are expected to apply (vs. emerging ones). They must be subnational destinations, well circumscribed in territorial terms, not belonging to more than two municipalities. Regional circuits will not be supported. They may be urban, coastal or nature destinations, and working with both domestic and international outbound tourism markets.
What do the beneficiary destinations obtain?
Each selected destination will obtain:
- A personalized diagnosis of its level of technological readiness, based on its main challenges (prioritized by the own destination); and
- A detailed action plan (agreed between the public and private sector) to accelerate technological assimilation at the destination.
The 10 selected destinations of the Future Tourism Program are:
1. Argentina, City of Cordoba 2. Brazil, Fortaleza 3. Chile, Puerto Varas 4. Colombia, Bogota Capital District 5. Ecuador, Galapagos Islands 6. Ecuador, Quito Metropolitan District 7. Guatemala, Antigua Guatemala 8. Mexico, Cancun 9. Peru, City of Arequipa 10. Uruguay, Montevideo