IT-tour: Towards the digital transformation of Slovenian tourism
IT-tour: Towards the digital transformation of Slovenian tourism
The IT-tour, which was held today as part of the Days of Slovenian Tourism (DST) highlighted inspiring digital stories of Slovenian tourism. The event brought together tourism stakeholders on the path of digital transformation. 18 examples of good practice in the field of digitalisation were presented.
The IT-tour, which was held today as part of the Days of Slovenian Tourism (DST) organised by the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) in partnership with the Strategic Innovation Partnership for Tourism (SRIPT), highlighted inspiring digital stories of Slovenian tourism. The event, which brought together tourism stakeholders on the path of digital transformation, was an opportunity to gain new knowledge, exchange experiences and learn about successful solutions in Slovenian tourism. 18 examples of good practice in the field of digitalisation were presented.
This spring, two key strategic documents were adopted in Slovenian tourism: the 2022-2026 Digital Transformation Strategy for Slovenian Tourism and the umbrella 2022-2028 Strategy of Slovenian Tourism 2022-2028. The Digital Transformation Strategy was prepared by the Slovenian Tourist Board in March 2022, and its measures were included in the umbrella tourism strategy, led by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. The two strategies complement each other and constitute a key basis for the digitalisation of Slovenian tourism, which is inextricably linked to the further sustainable transformation of the sector.
One of the measures within the Digital Tourism Strategy is also the IT-tour, which raises awareness of the importance of digital transformation, fosters inspiration and provides the opportunity to acquire new knowledge on the key success factors of the digital transition. The event showcases successful examples of digital transformation in Slovenian tourism and gives participants the opportunity to get up close and personal with existing digital solutions, make new connections and get new ideas for tackling the challenges of digitalisation.
At today's first IT-tour, which took place at the Thermana Park Laško Hotel, the participants were addressed by the Minister for Digital Transformation, Dr. Emilija Stojmenova Duh, the Acting Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Dubravka Kalin, and the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, MSc. Maja Pak.
The Minister for Digital Transformation, Dr. Emilija Stojmenova Duh, reminded that technology is not a substitute for people. "Technological solutions should never replace the services we offer today, but they can complement them well. At the Government Digital Transformation Service, we will work to develop the digital skills of tourism industry providers so that they understand technologies such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence and data processing. We will raise awareness about how these technologies can help and how to use them. We will also raise awareness among tourists so that they know how to appreciate these additional services. We are keen on learning about the examples of good practice presented today."
Digitalisation is of paramount importance at every step of our lives, said Dubravka Kalin, Acting Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism. "Tourism was one of the first economic sectors to digitalise business processes on a global scale, becoming a digital pioneer by setting up online flight and hotel reservation systems. As a result, it was among the first to adopt new technologies and platforms, driven by the need to compete. Today, we understand that new technologies enable new travel experiences, a different experience of natural values and cultural heritage, and, at management level, key tools that can facilitate decision-making. Big data, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain technologies and many other solutions can lead us to efficient, inclusive, sustainable and attractive solutions, while also offering new careers. This is why Slovenian tourism has identified digital transformation as a comprehensive and long-term process that will help to increase added value, improve customer experience and make tourism more competitive as an industry. However, let us be aware that some processes in tourism still cannot be done by technology and digitalisation cannot replace our hospitality, because tourism is about people."
STB's Director, MSc. Maja Pak, highlighted that when preparing the IT-tour, the STB put high importance on connecting with the tourism stakeholders from around Slovenia: "Technology is creating a revolution in which Slovenian tourism must not be a follower, but a leader that co-creates trends. But we can only succeed this together - as colleagues, partners in projects, mentors in knowledge transfer, and curious learners. Together, we will use the digital technologies of the future as tools in our efforts to increase added value. We can learn a lot from each other, which is why I am particularly pleased that today we are learning about 18 successful digital stories in Slovenian tourism. They can inspire us on our digital journey."
Aleksandra Jerebic Topolovec, Head of Content Digital Marketing at the Slovenian Tourist Board, presented the activities of the Slovenian Tourist Board for the successful digital transformation of tourism in times of rapid change. She stressed that tourism "needs to innovate and create new business conditions to ensure the competitiveness, growth and sustainable development of the sector".
The keynote speakers at the IT-tour underlined that in a world where everything is connected and smart, non-digitalised and non-automated factors will be extremely valuable. People are at the heart of the digital transformation process.
The keynote address was delivered by Nikolaos Dimitriadis, co-founder and CEO of Trizma Neuro, who is also a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, a certified neuromarketing expert and a trainer. He highlighted the importance of empathy in the age of digital transformation and called for reflection on how digital transformation can help us become more human.
Anthropologist Dr. Dan Podjed, a researcher at the Institute of Slovenian Ethnography at ZRC SAZU and the Innovation and Development Institute of the University of Ljubljana, an associate professor at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, spoke about sustainable solutions for balancing life in the age of digital transformation. He called for an analogue transformation, an important parallel trend that does not contradict the digital transformation. "We need to preserve people's ability to be disconnected and physically with each other", he said, recalling that people today are willing to pay to be disconnected.
The coexistence of digitalisation, sustainability and human beings was discussed by Dr. Dan Podjed, Cubo Hotel Managing Director Sandi Kovačevič and Green Student Network President Petrisa Chanji. They stressed the need to create digital solutions not only with people in mind, but together with them, taking into account the impact on the planet. The introduction of digital solutions should provide more time for face-to-face contact.
Participants also learned about successful digital stories of tourism stakeholders. Among the participants who presented their solutions, were: Terme Snovik - Kamnik, CUBO Hotel Cubo, Visit Kranj and Regional Development Agency Posavje, Rogaška Slatina Public Institute for Tourism and Culture (Rogaška Slatina), Maribor Regional Museum, Ljubljana Tourism (Digital Innovation of Plečnik's Heritage), Ilirska Bistrica Tourist Information Point (Castle Escape Prem Castle), Tour As (Experience-Slovenia.si), Visit Šaleška, Thermana (Friderik VR; Digital Story of Thermana), Murska Sobota Development Centre, Expano, Izola Tourist Board, Visit Cerkno, FromZero Partner Consortium, Visit Postojna and Visit Idrija.
Photos by: Nino Verdnik