At a time when the pandemic context in Portugal is improving and the tourism sector is showing tangible signs of recovery, the Lisbon Tourism Summit (LTS), an event organised by the collaborative innovation consultancy Beta-i and supported by Turismo de Portugal, returns this year focusing on the digitalisation of tourism and innovative solutions to improve the tourist experience. The summit will be held from 16 to 18 November, in a hybrid format and free access, and will serve as a connection point between startups, investors and entrepreneurs in the sector at national and international level.
The fourth edition of LTS will feature talks, workshops and informal meetings, in which the trends that are impacting the sector today will be debated by covering three strategic challenges: how to create a data-driven sales and communication strategy (from sales and marketing automation to natural language processing and data integration), how to improve the travel and hospitality experience (with virtual tours, implementation of augmented and virtual reality and more), and, finally, how to create smarter operations (from hospitality process optimisation to booking system automation).
According to Pedro Rocha Vieira, Beta-i’s Co-founder and CEO, "to keep up with the post-pandemic recovery process, the tourism industry will inevitably have to create innovative solutions and embrace technology more broadly. There is no doubt that the future will depend on automation, artificial intelligence, IoT, gamification methods and more - these are elements that will shape the new tourism experience. As such, this summit intends to accelerate the entry of these innovations into the market, giving the opportunity to learn, discuss and exchange ideas with the best international and national experts in the sector."
Luís Araújo, President of Turismo de Portugal (Portugal’s Tourism National Authority), points out that "at Turismo de Portugal, we are committed to creating the conditions to accelerate innovation and digitalisation of businesses and destinations. On this behalf, we develop and collaborate in actions that promote the digitisation of operations and value chains, as well as channels and respective customer relationship processes. The empowerment of companies and destinations with digital tools and increased knowledge, resulting from the incorporation of data at the basis of decisions, management and information and communication, strengthen the competitiveness of Portugal as a destination and contribute to creating the best tourism experience. The Lisbon Tourism Summit is essential to help spread the use of technology and data by all those who work in tourism, whether in private or public companies, modernising the productive structure, processes, communication and content."
With the opening session in charge of the President of Turismo de Portugal, the event will feature the participation of several national and international speakers, namely: Rowena Hennigan, a renowned international expert on topics related to the Future of Work, who will explore the potential of the "nomadic" market; Gabriele Horcher, one of the best-known experts on the topic of communication transformation and one of the German-speaking "Top 100 Entrepreneurs", who will talk about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on communication; and Chris Carmichael, head of innovation at tourism company TUI Musement, and with more than 15 years of experience in the sector, who will challenge participants to think about the future of travel and holidays. In addition to the lectures, people will also have access to 1:1 meetings with these experts.
The agenda also includes names such as Rui Inácio, Director of the Regional Policy Unit of the Agency for Development and Cohesion (AD&C); Carlos Mondragon, CEO and co-founder of Boxtolife; Joseph Deutsch, VP of Sales and Marketing at Parsempo; Letizia Elia, Business Development Officer and board member of Switzerland Tourism; Mário Cruz, head of marketing at Stratio; Felipe Ávila da Costa, co-founder and CEO at Infraspeak; Tiago Araújo, co-founder and CEO at HiJiffy; and Sérgio Guerreiro, Coordinating Director of the Knowledge Management Department of Turismo de Portugal, among others, bringing together corporates and startups in order to generate mutual knowledge and partnership opportunities.
The Lisbon Tourism Summit will also host the closing of this The Journey 2021 editon - an open innovation programme managed by Beta-i that connects leading tourism-related companies (such as Pestana Hotel Group, Selina, Parques de Sintra, Grupo Barraqueiro, Unicre and Visa), and worldwide tech startups to develop new solutions.
Two pilot projects from Parques de Sintra and Grupo Barraqueiro will be presented at the summit. This open innovation programme began in January 2021 and has so far involved 14 startups from countries such as Portugal, Israel, Spain, France, United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom, and Russia.
With a hands-on approach that promotes networking, the LTS participants also have access to workshops dedicated to areas such as digital transformation for hospitality and Tourism 4.0 in smart cities, customer segmentation based on data collection and creation of consumer experiences through design.
Completely free of charge after prior registration, the Lisbon Tourism Summit is aimed at professionals, specialists, entrepreneurs, or students in the fields of travel, hospitality, entertainment, leisure activities; and travel tech startups seeking for new business within the sector.