Last month, the region of Navarre in Spain welcomed senior members of the travel and tourism sector from across the globe to the eighth International Congress on Rural Tourism. The conference brought thought leaders and specialists together to discuss and debate key themes including sustainability, digitalisation and technology, innovation in service offering and the value of partnerships.
Over two days in Pamplona, delegates heard from a range of keynote speakers and panelists from over six countries, including the managing director of Glasgow-born agency After Digital, David Johnstone. We caught up with David to find out more…
For the past eight years, this international gathering has supported the development of stronger international business links and knowledge share, ensuring the sector firmly focuses on what lies ahead. María Ángeles Ezquer, president of the Navarre Federation for Rural Tourism, stated: “Long-term sustainability is all about sharing resources both natural and other (people, financial, etc) and sharing the wealth. This goes beyond eco-tourism to also incorporate education and communication.”
With travel more affordable and accessible than ever, rural tourism brands are faced with the challenge of competing with the major cities and being heard in a very noisy marketplace. These, often small in resource and headcount, businesses are having to evolve rapidly, adopting new marketing channels and skills, and being innovative to make budgets go further.