Interview with Ángeles Moreno 

Congress Curator of the Tourism Innovation Global Summit TIS - 2023

Ángeles Moreno

Congress Curator of the Tourism Innovation Global Summit TIS - 2023

Professional with extensive experience in the field of business management to achieve purposeful growth, increase revenue, accelerate innovation, improve organisational positioning, as well as promote talent acquisition. 

Angeles Moreno is a recognised expert in Business Management, Event Strategy and guiding organisations to achieve strategic change, with extensive experience as a CEO, business owner and consultant in business strategy, innovation, growth and alliances.

Author of the book The Time Is Now and nominated as one of the TOP 100 most influential women leaders in 2020 in Spain, Ángeles is the co-creator of the "CX Design Playbook", a methodology for exploring business trends and innovation in the field of human centricity and innovation. 

Angeles is a passionate and in-demand speaker from around the world, constantly leveraging her knowledge of business experience design and event strategy best practices. She holds a degree in Business Administration with a specialisation in Tourism and an MBA, and is fluent in 3 languages (Spanish, English and German).

Dear Ms. Moreno, as content director of TIS 2023, what are the main novelties of TIS 2023?

TIS - Tourism Innovation Summit returns to Seville with a revolution for the tourism sector and full of novelties. The first is the change of location to a pavilion at FIBES with more capacity to be able to have an expanded exhibition area and host many more technology and innovation companies dedicated to offering solutions for tourism. For three days, more than 7,000 professionals from the tourism sector from all over the world will come to Seville to discover the latest trends and technologies that will help transform tourism products and destinations, as well as improve their competitiveness.

This year, the congress will also bring together more than 400 international experts who will present the strategies and tools for transforming tourism into a smarter, more innovative and sustainable industry. Another of this year's major new features is that TIS2023 will host the A World For Travel congress, an event dedicated to discovering new initiatives that will drive the growth of more responsible and sustainable tourism around the world.

We should remember that you have recently been appointed director of this important congress. What are the main objectives you have set for your management?

TIS has become a reference meeting point at international level for professionals in the tourism sector. My objective is to consolidate this positioning and continue working to offer opportunities and spaces within TIS so that professionals in the sector can generate innovative ideas and establish strategic alliances to promote the economic and sustainable development of the industry and tourist destinations.

In addition, we must continue to strengthen its crucial role in bringing industry professionals and key players examples and success stories for applying innovation and technology to tourism, highlighting the latest trends and disruptive solutions in the sector. 

I am part of a team of professionals that has been working for four years to generate an international forum to foster knowledge transfer, explore business opportunities and gain new perspectives on how to address current and future challenges. 

Our goal this year, as in previous years and beyond, is to continue to be the leading tourism innovation summit to find inspiration, knowledge and the best technology partners to drive the growth and transformation of the global tourism sector.

And what does TIS offer to a city like Seville?

TIS was born in Seville because of the strong commitment that the city and its entrepreneurs are making to develop a more innovative and sustainable tourism industry and that has also led it to be elected European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023. TIS and Seville are a perfect match, as many of the ideas and technologies we see at TIS are being deployed in the city to improve the functioning of its tourism industry. Holding TIS furthers the goal of making Seville a global hub for tourism innovation. In addition, holding TIS in Seville allows the city to further capitalise on its distinction as a sustainable and innovative destination. 

A few weeks ago, there have been changes in the political leadership of Seville City Council, the main supporter of the event, do you consider this situation to be beneficial for TIS?

After only four editions, professionals from all over the world already recognise TIS as an unmissable event to learn about the strategies, innovations and technologies that are contributing the most to the evolution of the tourism industry, making it smarter, more sustainable and efficient. To achieve this, the support of public administrations at both local and regional level has been crucial, and we continue to work closely with them to make TIS and Seville a global benchmark for the tourism industry.

You are a professional with years of experience in tourism, what is the current state of tourism innovation globally?

Currently, tourism innovation globally is at an exciting and evolving stage. The industry has embraced technology as a way to improve the traveller experience, increase operational efficiency and address current and future challenges.

In this context, various technological solutions and innovative approaches are being developed in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, virtual and augmented reality, process automation, sustainable tourism and personalised experiences. These technologies are transforming the way travel is planned, booked and enjoyed, as well as the way tourism destinations are managed. Moreover, after overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, we are at a crucial moment of return to full normality where the tourism industry is undergoing significant changes. During this recovery process, there has been an acceleration in the adoption of digital solutions that have improved travellers' experience and ensured their safety and well-being.

Some engineers say that rather than tourism innovation there is an evolution in the tools applied to tourism, what do you think about this?

While it is true that many of the technologies and tools used in tourism have undergone a gradual evolution, it is also important to highlight that the combination of these tools and technologies has led to significant innovations in the way tourism is conceived and offered. The traveller has acquired new habits by using technologies that have led the industry to innovate in order to offer new services in different ways, adapted to new realities. The important thing is not to apply Virtual Reality, for example, but what experience we offer the traveller when applying it, and this is where innovation is crucial. Technology is a tool, but we must be aware that we must build new and diverse experiences that meet travellers' expectations.

Do you believe that the pandemic has introduced significant changes in the behaviour of tourists and travellers and that this situation has been exploited by technology companies?

Yes, the pandemic has introduced significant changes in the behaviour of tourists and travellers. Travel restrictions, security concerns and social distancing needs have led to an increased adoption of technological solutions in the tourism industry. Technology companies have been a key partner for the industry in addressing this situation. Technology, as I said before, is a tool and during and after the pandemic, it has been instrumental in providing solutions that meet the new demands and concerns of travellers, such as mobile applications for contactless booking, tracking and tracing systems, and tools to ensure the safety and well-being of travellers. These technological innovations have played a crucial role in the adaptation of the tourism industry to new circumstances and in improving the traveller experience in pandemic and post-pandemic times, as well as in the operational management of the tourism industry.

A tourism and technology event is always appealing, but what percentage would you say the tourist, in general, uses some of the thousands of tools that are presented?

While it is difficult to determine an exact percentage, it is safe to say that an increasing number of tourists use technological tools on their trips, both before travelling, during the organisation, once at their destination and on their return. With the advancement of technology and increasing connectivity, more and more tourists are taking advantage of mobile booking apps, online accommodation platforms, digital tour guides, interactive maps and translation services, among other available tools. While not all tourists use these tools, their adoption is on the rise and is expected to continue to grow in the future, especially as technology becomes more accessible and familiar to a wider audience.

However, what is important is not only that the tourist uses these digital tools, but that the tourism sector implements them in their business to improve the traveller experience, offer more personalised services, and even improve the management of their business and operations.

By geographical areas or countries, which do you consider to be the most advanced in the development of tools aimed at tourism?

The United States, with its technological leadership and entrepreneurial ecosystem, has driven innovation in the tourism sector. Western Europe has pioneered solutions for online booking, destination management and customer experience. In East Asia, countries such as China, Japan and South Korea have been quick to adopt emerging technologies in tourism. In addition, Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have stood out for their sustainable approach and use of technology in the promotion of natural destinations. These regions represent some of the most significant advances in the development of tourism tools, although it is important to note that tourism innovation is a constantly evolving field and promising new players and solutions may emerge in other parts of the world.

As the congress director, could you tell us about the changing trends in the markets and exhibitors?

One of the most prominent changes has been the increasing focus on sustainability and social responsibility in the tourism industry. More and more companies are looking for solutions and practices that reduce environmental impact and promote the conservation of natural resources. In addition, we have seen an increase in the participation of technology companies offering innovative solutions in areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, geolocation and personalisation of experiences. These changes reflect the need to adapt to travellers' demands and deliver more authentic and sustainable experiences. As a result, at TIS we have expanded our offering to reflect these emerging trends and provide a space for exhibitors to showcase their innovative solutions and connect with an ever-evolving market.

What sets TIS apart from other international fairs?

What sets TIS apart from other international fairs is its specific focus on tourism and technology innovation. TIS has established itself as a unique meeting point where professionals and experts from the tourism and technology industry converge to explore the latest trends, solutions and business opportunities in this field. Through conferences, panel discussions and networking activities, TIS fosters collaboration, knowledge transfer and the generation of synergies among participants. In addition, TIS stands out for its ability to bring together leaders, experts and emerging startups in a dynamic environment conducive to the exchange of ideas, inspiration and the establishment of strategic alliances.

Please, why visit TIS?

Visiting TIS - Tourism Innovation Summit is a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of tourism innovation and technology. 

The event brings together industry professionals, leaders and experts from around the world, providing an exceptional platform to learn about the latest trends, solutions and business opportunities in the sector. 

In addition, the congress has different vertical forums for each segment of the tourism industry (destinations, hotels, tourism transport, distribution channels, tourism activities and attractions, leisure and cultural tourism, MICE and Business Travel) and agendas designed specifically for each professional profile (CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, DMOs...), allowing each visitor to find inspiration and specific knowledge for their area of work. 

In addition, TIS offers an environment conducive to inspiration, the exchange of ideas and the discovery of new opportunities for growth in a constantly evolving sector.

What are the participation forecasts for this year?

The participation forecasts for this year are very promising, more than 7,000 professionals from the tourism industry, both nationally and internationally. In addition, we will bring together more than 200 exhibiting companies that will present the latest solutions and innovations to boost the competitiveness of tourism businesses and destinations, and more than 400 experts from around the world to share strategies and success stories to move towards a more digital, intelligent and sustainable tourism. TIS2023 has aroused great interest and generated positive expectations in the business community and the sector in general. 

According to some studies in the tourism sector, the digitisation of the tourism industry in general is not going at an optimal speed, do you share this opinion, and why?

Although significant progress has been made in the adoption of technology in the sector, there are still challenges that we must work on to accelerate this digitisation and, above all, to democratise it. We must work to reach all strata and segments of the tourism industry. Diversity and fragmentation of the sector, regulatory and security barriers, resistance to change and lack of awareness of the benefits of digitalisation are some of the barriers we encounter. While significant progress has been made, there is a need to address these obstacles and foster greater awareness, investment and collaboration to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies and promote a broader digital transformation in the tourism industry.

Dear Ms Moreno, thank you for your time and kindness, and see you very soon at TIS 2023.

The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this document and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of Tourism and Society Think Tank and do not commit the Organization, and should not be attributed to TSTT or its members.

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