CAST project partners and EBN members, CEEI Burgos and WestBIC both hosted successful events this autumn for entrepreneurs and businesses involved in the Sustainable Tourism sector. The two EU|BICs hosted events through the Creative Accelerators for Sustainable Tourism project and engaged entrepreneurs and investors in Ireland and Spain.
In September, WestBIC hosted a Digitech and Future Media event in Westport, Ireland in recognition of the fact that tourism orientated companies are facing a new reality, one in which it is necessary to become adopters of the latest technological advances in the interest of business. Companies were able to learn about the latest digital trends in the tourism industry, hear about the latest developments in immersive technologies and the future of media and learn how to engage with some new technologies. Also showcased at the event were creative technologies in the tourism sector (such as digital storytelling and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR)) and companies who have been successful with digital technology which enabled them to expand their reach, scale up, and grow internationally.
At the event, John Carty, a lecturer in the Department of Heritage & Tourism, Galway International Hotel School at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) highlighted some of the key mega-trends in the tourism market, including the consumer trends such as FOMO and JOMO. Geoff Allen of Mersus Technologies, Ireland's largest dedicated AR/VR studio and a 'Google Trusted' 360 Photographic studio, reflected on emerging technologies and their usability and availability. The concept of VR/AR was further translated into a case study by Aaron Jay, founder and owner of Emagine Media, who gave a vivid overview of the 'King of the Vikings' VR experience and other examples of tourism applications. Digital storytelling was brought to life by Fergal Nealon of StoryTracks, EBN’s Entrepreneur of the Month, and last but not least Francois Colussi, an entrepreneur and adventurer gave his vision on blending creativity, passion and technology.
Meanwhile in mid-October, CEEI Burgos hosted a ‘Venture Academy’ during their V Meeting of young entrepreneurs in Burgos, Spain, which on this occasion was focussed on the sustainable tourism sector. The event was opened with a presentation from Joantxo Llantada about the changes the tourism industry is facing and the secrets to successfully overcoming them, followed by a talk from the Director of Institutional Relations in Segitur, Victor Badorrey, who spoke about smart tourist destinations, and the Academy was closed with a debate involving a number of tourism companies from the local ecosystem and an invitation to propose ideas on how to improve tourism in Burgos.
The afternoon of the V Meeting was opened with a presentation from the CAST project, in which the CEEI Burgos is currently working alongside 5 other EBN members and EBN. Participants also heard a motivational presentation from Edurne Pasaban who is the first woman to have climbed all 14 ‘eight thousander’ mountains in the world. Entrepreneurs were shown how to set challenges and objectives and how they can be achieved to succeed, as well as overcoming the difficulties that can be encountered along the way.
The event was a great success with around 170 participants in total and extensive coverage in local media, with mentions both on TV and newspapers.
CAST is co-funded by the European Commission COSME programme and is run by a consortium of nine organisations including EBN, 6 EBN Members (CEEI Burgos, CeeIM, CyRIC, Lazio Innova, Media Deals, and WestBIC), D2S, and Creative Business Cup.
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