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Data Space for Tourism

Modul University Vienna

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Within the next 12 months, Modul University Vienna, City Destinations Alliance, European Travel Commission and Forward Keys endeavor to design a roadmap that will guide the creation of the future Data Space for Tourism (DSFT, see Modul University is the technical coordinator of this one-year research project funded by the European Commission within the Digital Europe Program.

The main aim of this project is to pave the way for the future deployment of the DSFT, which will allow for increased access to data for all tourism sector stakeholders across the EU. Providing access to information throughout the European tourism ecosystem will substantially increase productivity, sustainability, innovation, and upskilling within the sector. Putting in place a multi-stakeholder governance mechanism, data-sharing business models and technical specifications will help to ensure the DSFT is adequately maintained, easy to use, and that it can be fitted into the broader framework of European Data Space. For this reason, the consortium will collaborate closely with the EU Data Space Support Centre to ensure that the interoperability requirements of the DSFT are met. Furthermore, this project would also contribute to the long-term policy objectives of the European Green Deal, as priority will be given to technical solutions that are environmentally responsible and energy-efficient, such as cloud-to-edge systems. Furthermore, the DSFT will enable the attainment of Green Deal sustainability goals through distance monitoring of environmental indicators (e.g., air and water pollution).

The power of data is the power to obtain information that supports and improves decision-making. While data are now everywhere, generated from diverse sources at unimaginable speed, they are often fragmented, in different formats, and often difficult to access when needed most. For European tourism stakeholders facing strategic and operational challenges amidst recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to make decisions based on reliable data has never been stronger. Besides, access to the right information could support tourism businesses in improving their competitive position within the global marketplace while fulfilling the obligations of the European Green Deal.

The DSFT is only one part of a single market envisaged by the European Commission within the European Data Strategy. To harness the full potential of data, it shall enable all tourism stakeholder groups to share and access the required data when needed. Furthermore, DSFT shall also address the challenge of data interoperability, not only within tourism but throughout the EU and across sectors. Ideally, the DSFT will become a model for other sectors and lead to the eventual single market for data that increases the competitiveness of the EU and the overall quality of life for its citizens. There are also clear synergies with other EU projects, which would build upon access to the DSFT.  

Project Objectives

Create Tourism Data Inventory

Tourism Data Inventory will be an open-access tool for the tourism sector, showing current data, if they are maintained by governments and non-governmental agencies (i.e., open-access data and statistics) or by the private sector (e.g., transportation, accommodation, and telecommunication providers). Through TDI, the data will become easily accessible to key tourism stakeholders, including SMEs, which shall increase the competitiveness of European tourism by aligning providers with the expectations and wishes of their customers.

Establish Governance Mechanisms for the Future DSFT

DSFT cannot be successful if it is not based on clear, fair, and sustainable, multi-stakeholder governance mechanisms and data-sharing business models ensuring legal certainty. Through a participative approach, the consortium endeavors to better understand the needs and requirements of a broad base of stakeholders as well as to mitigate potential risks and uncertainties preventing especially private tourism stakeholders from sharing data.

Plan an Interoperable DSFT

DSFT will be a part of a wider European Data Strategy. For this reason, the consortium needs to develop technical solutions ensuring the interoperability of tourism-related data to foster a free flow of data within the EU and across sectors. In cooperation with the Data Spaces Support Centre (DSSC) and the Alliance for Industrial Data, Cloud, and Edge (AIDCE), the consortium will ensure that DSFT is compatible with the EU-wide data environment. Additionally, all design recommendations for the DSFT will consider the data structure and quality necessary for future Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications.

Create the DSFT blueprint

All the previous goals models will result in a detailed plan for the design and deployment of the DSFT, bringing together the tourism data set priorities, requisite technical specifications, governance models, and business, ensuring that the various needs of the multiple stakeholders of the tourism sector are met in a practical, fair, and transparent fashion.

Modul University (MU) 

Modul University Vienna, the technical coordinator of the project is an international university for business and economics, with a strong research focus on international management, service-related industries, tourism, sustainability, data science, and the design of information systems. MU has a long tradition in tourism research utilizing advanced qualitative and quantitative methodologies and has established the TourMIS system, where all European national tourism organizations input data and exchange knowledge.

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