Tourism as a RIS3 priority
During this workshop, which was organised by the S3 Platform together with the Algarve Regional Development and Coordination Commission, the European regions Algarve (PT), Sicily (IT), Rhone-Alpes (FR) and Kujawsko-Pomorskie (PL) presented their current work on RIS3. The other workshop participants acted as 'critical friends' and discussed the strategies of the four regions under review.
The peer review was preceeded by a thematic workshop on tourism as a RIS3 priority, which gathered researchers and representatives of industry together with S3 Platform members to discuss how regions with existing strengths in tourism could create a sustainable future through innovation, nichemarketing and diversification.
The President of the CCDR, David Santos, opened the workshop with a brief introduction to the tourist industry in Algarve, including an overview of its main challenges which he hopes RIS3 can help to overcome: Declining visitor numbers due to the current recession in many parts of Europe, seasonality and the long term sustainability of the industry.
Prof. Philip Cooke who acted as a European Commission expert for both the national Potuguese RIS3 and the regional RIS3 for Algarve gave a keynote presentation emphasising the possibilities for innovation within the tourist industry if a wider 'Doing, Using and Interacting' perspective was taken rather than only a high tech approach.
Thereafter two panel sessions were held. The first included representatives of the Algarve tourist industry and the European Tour Operators Association, a researcher in tourism and innovation and an S3 Platform member region (Basilicata, Italy). The panel this included the three parts of the 'triple helix' which together have the potential to drive forward innovation in a region. The second panel session involved presentations of three innovative projects that use ICTs as innovation within the tourist industry: ROUTE 2.0 which offers learning tools to SMEs in the tourist industry for the use of social media marketing; INNOTOUR, an online learning and exchange platform for tourist professionals; and TURSITEC, a leading tourism cluster based in the Balearic islands dedicated to providing technological solutions to the tourism industry. Below are links to the presentations made during the panel sessions.
Building on experience gained during the previous nine peer-review workshops organised by the S3 Platform, a bespoke S3 peer review methodology was used as an instrument to support regions in the development of their RIS3.
Before the start of the workshop Lúisa Sanches provided information about the latest development concerning the Cohesion Policy regulations.