Data Space – Modul University, the European Travel Commission (ETC), City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA), and ForwardKeys have joined forces to set the foundation for the development of a secure and trusted Data Space for Tourism (DSFT).
The project is funded by the EU and aims to enable all European tourism stakeholders to share and access relevant data when required.
Following the project’s launch, the partnering organisations stated, “For European tourism stakeholders facing strategic and operational challenges amidst recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to make decisions based on reliable data has never been stronger. Besides, access to the right information at the right time, the Data Space for Tourism could support businesses in improving their competitive position within the global marketplace, while also fulfilling the obligations of the European Green Deal.”
TYING TOURISM DATA TOGETHER
While data is now everywhere, generated from diverse sources at unimaginable speed, it is often fragmented and difficult to access. To harness the full potential of data, the European Commission has outlined the European Data Strategy, envisaging a single market where data flows within the EU and across sectors for the benefit of the whole society.
The DSFT is the part of this marketplace focusing on tourism that shall enable all stakeholders (e.g., SMEs, governmental agencies, technology firms, and tourism entities at the national, regional, and local levels) to share and access the data they require. In order to build this secure and trusted data space, the consortium leverages its expertise and reputation to set out its foundations.
FOSTERING “DATA SHARING” CULTURE IN TOURISM
For the DSFT to be a sustainable solution, a bottom-up approach is required to build a “culture of data sharing” among all relevant tourism stakeholders. Thus, the preparatory actions aim to achieve four milestones:
- Create and analyse a Tourism Data Inventory of existing data platforms and repositories relevant to tourism stakeholders.
- Establish sustainable, multi-stakeholder governance mechanisms and data-sharing business models for the DSFT.
- Provide a set of technical specifications for the interoperability of the DSFT with the other European Data Space initiatives.
- Detail the DSFT blueprint and provide the roadmap for deploying the DSFT that aligns with national priorities and the European Data Strategy.
KICKING OFF WITH A PARTICIPATIVE APPROACH
Over the next year, the partnering organisations will conduct online questionnaires and in-person workshops with industry stakeholders. The outcomes of these consultations will inform the design of the DSFT.
Looking ahead, the preparatory actions of this project will pave the way for the actual deployment of the DSFT. Its successful implementation will allow for increased access to data for all tourism stakeholders, leading to substantial increases in productivity, sustainability, innovation, and upskilling within the sector. The shared data space can be an excellent tool for combating the economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing the industry’s resilience in uncertain times.
The DSFT aims to become a model for other sectors and lead to the eventual single market for data that increases the competitiveness of the EU and the overall quality of life for its citizens. There are also clear synergies with other EU projects, such as the European Interoperability Framework for Smart Cities and Communities (EIF4SCC), which would build upon access to the DSFT. Therefore, addressing the interoperability challenge, not only within the tourism sector but throughout the EU and across sectors, is another clear objective.
The project is funded by the European Union.
The consortium comprises of four partnering organisations with the complementary and interdisciplinary competencies and expertise required to deliver the project.
The European Travel Commission (ETC) represents the national tourism organisations of Europe. Established in 1948, ETC’s mission is to strengthen the sustainable development of Europe as a tourist destination and to promote Europe in third markets. Its 35-member tourism boards work together to build the value of tourism for all the diverse European destinations through cooperation in sharing best practices, market intelligence and promotion. www.etc-corporate.org
City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA) is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of the leading cities of Europe. CityDNA provides a platform for Leisure, Meetings Industry and City Marketing professionals to exchange knowledge and best practices and widen their networks to inspire, co-develop and promote a sustainable visitor economy for each member city. https://citydestinationsalliance.eu/
Modul University (MU) is an international university for business and economics located in Vienna, with a strong research focus on international management, service-related industries, tourism, sustainability, data science, and the design of information systems. MU has a long tradition in tourism research, utilising advanced qualitative and quantitative methodologies and has established the TourMIS system, where European national tourism organisations input data and exchange knowledge. https://www.modul.ac.at/
ForwardKeys (FK) is a leading data provider for the tourism industry, which brings in technical expertise and knowledge in data analytics and information systems. FK partners with numerous data holders and additionally provides immediate and direct access to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders https://forwardkeys.com/
See the dedicated page on CityDNA’s website: https://citydestinationsalliance.eu/initiatives/data-space-for-tourism-preparatory-actions/
now.digital | world of data – Data space refers to the storage capacity and systems used to store and manage digital data. This can include data stored on servers, hard drives, flash drives, and other types of storage devices. The term can also refer to the virtual or physical space used to store and organize data, such as databases or cloud storage platforms. Data space can also refer to the use of space-based platforms, such as satellites, to collect, transmit, and store data. This can include data related to Earth observation, weather forecasting, and communication. The data can be used for various purposes such as monitoring natural resources, tracking shipping and cargo, and providing internet access to remote areas. Data space is becoming increasingly important as the amount of digital data being generated continues to grow at an exponential rate. Companies, governments, and organizations need to ensure that they have enough data storage capacity and that the data is properly managed and protected to avoid data breaches and loss.