First International Center associated to UNWTO Academy in Portugal hosted Masterclass on Digital Transformation in Tourism

10 Juil 19


Lisbon, Portugal

As a first event for the International Center associated with UNWTO Academy in Portugal, the UNWTO Academy Masterclass on “Digital Transformation in Tourism - Trends and Challenges” was conducted in Lisbon on 4th July 2019. 

Its contents, the innovative technology used, the excellent premises and Turismo de Portugal’s collaboration were key to the success of this Masterclass.

During the lecture, UNWTO Academy expert, Mrs. Montserrat Peñarroya, explained how the Internet has undoubtedly changed tourists’ behaviour and expectations once they arrive at a new destination. She also analyzed the trends in tourism from a demand point of view, stressing the need to stop selling products and start selling experiences, as any tourism entity (being a destination or a business) is a provider of experiences. 

During her talk on processes innovation, she mentioned many cutting edge tools and frameworks for follow-up on the clients’ touch points, as well as taking into account the clients’ mood during key moments, especially when interacting with the sector’s organizations. 

The final input of the Masterclass touched on why organizations neglect to innovate in their business models. “Business model adaptation, as Mrs. Peñarroya stated, is really difficult because business models tend to lock you in. Aspects such as inertia, fear of change, fear of risk and the inability to identify new opportunities in time, impede tourism organizations to adapt their business models”. To avoid being locked in, organizations should be ambidextrous, in one hand, to keep exploiting their current business model and on the other hand, to have the capacity to explore new business models. 

As part of the Masterclass, attendees used their mobile devices to rate the effect and difficulty of introducing Mrs. Peñarroya’s propositions to their own organizations, which resulted in a matrix showing the priority in which these changes should be implemented.


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