Islands are extremely fragile ecosystems that play a vital role in supporting our planet’s biodiversity. Lanzarote is no exception, and the throngs of tourists that it attracts expose it to an increasing human impact. The path we are on to making Lanzarote a smart tourism destination in order to ensure the best possible sustainable tourism management began in October 2015, when the island submitted its bid to Red.es’s Smart Islands call for proposals. This vision has now culminated in the development of the Lanzarote Smart Island: Intelligent Biosphere Reserve project.
The Lanzarote Intelligent Biosphere Reserve is a public-private partnership that will drive sustainable development of the island through digital transformation.
Visitors will have real-time access to the entire catalogue of tourism products, using natural language, obtain information on the number of visitors to the centres and local weather forecasts, among other areas of interest, and have the best possible experience of the island based on their profile. The Digital Tourism Channel will allow Lanzarote travel agencies to streamline their operations, maximising their profits while boosting the economy by fostering local businesses, and will provide agencies with a direct channel to tourists.
Tourists will be provided with real-time information to help them make better decisions based on the environmental, local-economic and social impact that their activities have on the island. Private and public travel agencies and public service providers will have access to an integrated predictive sustainability dashboard, allowing them to optimise their asset planning and organise their operations.
Since this journey began, Lanzarote has launched various initiatives that have, over time, not only allowed us to work on sustainability, but have served as a stepping stone of preparation and learning that has allowed us to reach this new starting point.
These initiatives have given Lanzarote the human, technological and organisational resources it needs to face the challenges posed by tourism. Add to this the economic capacity provided to us by the Canary Islands Development Fund (FDCAN), and we have everything we need to face challenges that have thus far proved difficult to solve, such as climate change and sustainable tourism. These are the foundations that led to the Lanzarote Technology and Tourism Innovation Centre (CITTLAN), a space that will house the foremost community of sustainable tourism management experts and make Lanzarote an exporter of sustainable tourism know-how to other island tourist destinations.
In the words of Lanzarote’s own César Manrique in 1992: “We must not weaken in our resolve, but carry on, be alert and keep our critical consciousness alive, because the future should never be taken for granted.” This vision is what drives us to continue working to develop the most sustainable model possible for our growth, allowing us to keep looking to the future in the certainty that we islands still have a big say in the future of the planet.
Benefits for Lanzarote