Tequila, Jalisco, has been certified as the first Smart Tourist Destination in Mexico and Latin America by the project of the same name developed by Spain’s Ministry of Tourism that aims to be the locomotive for the promotion and promotion of the digital transformation of destinations and tourist areas in Spain.
The Smart Tourist Destinations (DTI) project is a commitment to a tourism development model based on the pillars of governance, innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility, with which to guarantee the present and future of tourism. The model has the international recognition of organizations and institutions as relevant as the UNWTO, the OECD, the IDB or the WTTC.
What does this Smart Tourist Destination (DTI) certification mean?
A DTI is a tourist destination that meets the following characteristics:
• it is innovative: it is consolidated on a cutting-edge technological infrastructure
• guarantees the sustainable development of the tourist territory
• promotes accessibility for all
• facilitates visitor interaction and integration with the environment
• increases the quality of visitor experiences at the destination
• improves the quality of life of residents
In Tequila, one of the eight Pueblos Mágicos in Jalisco, members of the public and private sectors, academia, NGOs, foundations and local leaders have been working together since 2016 to harmonize management and implement best practices as a tourist destination that endorses the aforementioned pillars.
Federico de Arteaga, responsible for the implementation of the DTI project in Tequila, explained some of the benefits of the five pillars that comprise this methodology, pioneered by Spain’s Mercantile Society for the Management of Innovation and Tourism Technologies (SEGITTUR):
• In the technological pillar, Tequila today offers residents and tourists free Wi-Fi service in the Historic Center, to which more than 300,000 people are connected a year, he said.
• The town, along with the Tequila Route, have free Apps which contain information on all the shops, tourist products and services of the town, so that visitors know the options of hotels, businesses and activities. In the end, this application allows SMEs, medium and large companies to receive the economic benefit.
• They have a Big Data data system, in real time, that generates information on traffic, peak hours, flow of people and commercial activities for making strategic decisions.
• they’ve built wheelchair ramps
• improved tourism products inside and outside hotels
• they offer sign language and Braille translations
Through the civil association CODIT, state and municipal authorities are working together with local businesses and universities, among others, to initiate pilot projects and aid with decision-making, management, support and agreements in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
Regarding innovation, Arteaga reported that they are constantly perfecting not only the area’s tourism offer, but also the processing of tourism products like tequila, to ensure their authenticity and traditions are constantly being improved.
• They have taken advantage of alternative energies such as solar energy
• Individuals and companies have installed solar panels
• Some tourist activities seek to reduce the carbon footprint
As of the certification, Tequila is now part of the Smart Tourist Destinations Network (DTI Network), which comprises 80 Spanish destinations.
Thanks to the DTI model, where 80 percent of the shares are non-technological and 20 are technological, it has been possible to intelligently manage the growth of Tequila, which grew from 20,000 inhabitants and 18,000 tourists a year in 2013, to more than 50,000 residents and 500,000 visitors in 2019.