Zagreb County Tourist Board

Zagreb County Tourist Board is hosting a multiplier event for the Erasmus+ project FORESIGHT and Interreg Adrion project PRONACUL

On March 1, 2023, a significant event was organised in collaboration with the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Zagreb. As part of the Erasmus+ project "Flexibility and Resilience in Digital Transformation and Intelligent Automation - Advanced Skills and Tools for Academia and Entrepreneurs" -FORESIGHT, a multiplier event was held at the premises of the Tourist Board Zagreb County. The event aimed to offer insights into the latest advancements in digital transformation and intelligent automation, explicitly focusing on advanced skills and tools for academia and entrepreneurs. The event was a significant success, with participants gaining valuable knowledge and skills to help them navigate the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

This is an internationally funded scientific project that is aimed at fostering competition. The European Mobility Agency is providing the funds for this project. The University of Zagreb's Faculty of Economics and Business is one of the five partners involved and the only one from Croatia. The other partners are from Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Romania.

The primary objective of this project is to establish a digital platform that facilitates collaboration among the academic community and the public and private sectors. The goal is to anticipate future development trends and skill requirements and ensure that individuals acquire the necessary skills to meet these demands. The project will emphasise the areas of smart automation, digital transformation, and algorithmic management, where expertise is critical to success.

At the event, the participants were updated on the project's progress. The discussion mainly focused on digitalisation as an essential strategy for developing tourism. In the tourism industry, new advancements have brought changes in consumer behaviour and business processes, leading to recent market trends. By keeping up with such trends, ecosystems in the tourism value chain can stay competitive and meet the needs of tourists, the local population, and the environment and climate.

The tourism sector faces several challenges, including the development of sustainable mobility. However, there are specific issues related to Croatian tourism, such as the impact of tourism on the environment and nature, the interrelationship between tourism and climate change, adapting to accelerated technological changes in tourism, improving the quality of life and well-being of the local population, scarcity of human resources in terms of quantity and quality, unfavourable business environment and investment conditions, and the impact of crises on tourism. These challenges are rooted in the lack of accurate foresight, making it difficult for tourism industry ecosystems to plan and allocate resources effectively. This leads to inefficiency, poor performance, and adverse effects on infrastructure, population, quality of life and work, the environment and climate.

Digital transformation and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data have great potential to revolutionise tourism. They offer practical tools to tackle various challenges and enable intelligent, sustainable, green, and responsible tourism, which aligns with the sustainable development goals. AI can play a crucial role in addressing critical issues in tourism and ensuring a better future for the industry.

During the multiplier event, various activities were conducted to promote tourism in the pilot location Žumberak and the "Promotion of natural and cultural heritage to develop sustainable tourism in protected areas - PRONACUL" project. These activities included multiplier events, direct marketing, and promotion of tourist products. The project was financed under the INTERREG V-B of the Adriatic-Ionian Transnational Cooperation Program 2014-2020.

As part of the multiplier event, the PRONACUL project engaged in direct marketing and promotional activities to make the Žumberak pilot location more attractive to tourists. The aim was to raise awareness and inform key stakeholders, target groups, and the public about the project.

During the presentation, the successful outcomes of PRONACUL were emphasised as a model of efficient strategic planning for sustainable, intelligent, and responsible tourism development. The project uses digital techniques to conserve and enhance natural, cultural, and historical heritage. The Virtual Chamber platform is one of the significant achievements of PRONACUL and played a crucial role in achieving this objective.

The collaboration with the Faculty of Economics and Business at the esteemed University of Zagreb in successfully executing these initiatives, as one of the key stakeholders in the PRONACUL project, brought significant value and a multiplier effect to the marketing and promotion of the tourism product. Moreover, it enhanced the information and appeal of the PRONACUL project, its outcomes, and tourism products for the targeted audience, including tourists, vital stakeholders, and the public.

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