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Digitalisation, an essential tool to improve the competitiveness of the retail and the hospitality sectors


Fomento de San Sebastián, within the framework of the European DEVISE project (Interreg Europe), organised the conference, ‘Digitalisation, a tool to improve the competitiveness of local retail and hospitality sectors', which was held at Talent House in San Sebastian on 24th May 2019. It was a multi-sectorial meeting, in which the conclusions drawn from the report on the local situation of the supply and demand of digital services were shared with stakeholders and companies from both sectors, as well as with representatives from digital services suppliers, and where there was also an opportunity to discuss and analyse the steps to follow in these sectors to support the implementation of digitalisation processes.


During the session, the expert, Vicente de los Ríos (Líderes y Digitales) asked participants to reflect on digitalisation as an opportunity, and how to address it in business. De los Rios pointed out that “leading companies do not place the product in the focus, but rather the customer and they sell experiences” and he wished to highlight that “the traffic on our website or platform is key for everything”.


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The event included a round table and room for debate on the impact and consequences of digitalisation on the retail and hospitality companies, and the role that suppliers of digital services play on this. Cristina Murillo, from the Gaia Cluster, Kino Martínez, in representation of the “Bar, Restaurant & Hotels Association of San Sebastian Region” (Hospitality Association), and Iñigo Apalategi, from the shop Deportes Apalategi, took part. Each of them presented their vision on the importance of digitalisation in their sectors, after which a space for dialogue was opened up, in which participants in the session could exchange experiences and good practices.


The workshop concluded with a presentation to the attendees on the collaboration opportunities and the steps that are going to be taken within the DEVISE project over the forthcoming months, in order to define an action plan for the implementation of a new local instrument that improves and reinforces the digital transformation processes of the local sectors involved.


DEVISE is a European project managed in the city by Fomento de San Sebastián, and co-financed by the European Union within the Interreg Europe programme. This project aims to respond to the challenge of promoting the digitalisation of strategic business sectors. A challenge that is also being addressed by other regions and partner cities in the project. The aim is, on the one hand, to exploit the potential offered by digital service providers, and on the other, to analyse the needs and demands of businesses in these strategic sectors, in our case, retail and hospitality ones.


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To this end, the project is pursuing an innovative inter-sectorial approach, which involves all the relevant stakeholders in the digital transformation process in order to analyse the current context, learning from other regions in the European Union. It also defines actions that integrate the lessons learned and allow the demand and supply sides of digitalisation services to be aligned.


For full information about the DEVISE project, go to: www.interregeurope.eu/devise/






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