The IDB offers assessments and action plans to accelerate technology uptake at winning destinations
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announces the 10 winners of the Future Tourism Program regional contest. This program aims to help Latin America’s tourism industry become more competitive and sustainable by adopting digital and emerging technologies. It is financed with $1.5 million in non-reimbursable resources for technical cooperation from the Spanish General Cooperation Fund at the IDB.
The contest featured stiff competition among 107 destinations in the region. The ten selected for the Future Tourism Program are:
1. Argentina: City of Cordoba
2. Brazil: Fortaleza
3. Chile: Puerto Varas
4. Colombia: Bogota Capital District
5. Ecuador: Galapagos Islands
6. Ecuador: Quito Metropolitan District
7. Guatemala: Antigua Guatemala
8. Mexico: Cancun
9. Peru: City of Arequipa
10. Uruguay: Montevideo
The winners will receive an assessment of their technological readiness and a plan for how to accelerate technology uptake among their tourism companies.
The 10 winning destinations were selected based on the quality and scope of the analysis of current challenges they submitted, the strength of the team assigned to support the technical assistance should the destination be selected, and the list of activities planned in order to apply the results of the technical assistance. Each destination submitted this information in a letter signed by key public- and private-sector members of its tourism industry.
The technical support will offer a unified methodology and customized roadmaps to speed up the pace of technology adoption among this initial group of Latin American tourism destinations. The resulting pilot model can then be replicated at other destinations in the region.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean was booming and had become a key driver of growth and economic diversification. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that tourism contributed 10% of Latin America’s GDP and 14% of the Caribbean’s GDP in 2019. But in 2020, GDP from direct regional tourism fell by 50%, a much sharper drop than in the services or manufacturing sectors, which shrunk by 6% and 7%.
To boost tourism’s recovery and overcome post-pandemic challenges, it is essential to support the business ecosystem and understand new demand-side priorities. Technology is instrumental in this task. Prior to COVID-19, the industry was already in the midst of a digital revolution that was disrupting all productive and consumer processes. Therefore, including technology in reactivation efforts will both make travel safer from a health perspective and bolster the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of destinations.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
Adela Moreda Mora