ANDALUCIA – Marbella can call itself the first Intelligent Tourist Destination in Andalucia and even the third destination in the world with this title. This qualification is awarded to cities with tourism that excels in innovation and sustainability.
The State Enterprise for the Promotion of Innovative and Technological Tourism (SEGITTUR) awards the qualification if a destination meets 400 points in terms of policymaking, innovation, technology, universal accessibility, and sustainability. Consequently, Segittur wants to stimulate competition and development of international tourism with this.
Avant-garde Marbella with excellent offer
Marbella Mayor Ángeles Muñoz welcomed the award. “This qualification marks a ‘before and after’ for the consolidation of the Marbella brand. And, furthermore, an excellent offering and a frontrunner position against our direct competitors. We have shown that we have adapted to the current demands of tourists. But, moreover, we are also committed to develop further in all areas,” she said.
The new award puts the city of Marbella in a favourable position to benefit from the money from the European Next Generation fund. Furthermore, this fund is used by the central government to improve innovation and sustainability in Spain. According to Muñoz, her municipality has implemented digital transformation and accessibility initiatives in recent years.
The Municipality of Marbella will be officially presented with the qualification at the upcoming Fitur International Tourist Fair, which will take place in Madrid from January 19-23.
Marbella not represented on Fitur
However, the municipality of Marbella is not represented at the tourist trade fair this year. This is the first time in seven years Marbella will not be there. In their own words, the budget of €118,000 that was initially intended for this has been withdrawn. Moreover, this is due to the arrival of the Omicron variant. A decision by the municipal council that the PSOE dismissed as a ‘blunder’. “Marbella’s absence from Fitur is a setback for the national and international image of Marbella and San Pedro,” said former mayor José Bernal. In 2016, he ensured that Marbella was represented at the most important international tourist trade fair.