More than 80 participants academics, experts, consultants, activists, associative and neighborhood leaders, as well as entrepreneurs and representatives of the public administration have met on October 6, 2021 at the Poblenou Library convened by the Ethnic Association (Aethnic) to discuss the current state and alternatives to the current model of tourism in Barcelona.
The Conference was the culmination of the Sustainable Tourism Network Project-Poblenou Responsible Tourism (PTR) that the Ethnic Association has developed in the last year.
The Councilor for Tourism and Cultural Industries, Xavier Marcè mentioned at the end of the Conference the importance of recovering tourism in the city under the guidelines set by the United Nations SDGs in the 2030 Agenda.
The Tourism Councilor of Sant Martí, Javier Mesía , together with the directors of the Aethnic projects, Jordi Tolrà and the president of the association, Jesús Martín , opened the Conference with an invitation to turn the current tourism model upside down, taking advantage of the ‘opportunity given by the shutdown caused by covid.
The technicians responsible for tourism at the Barcelona City Council, Xavier Suñol, and the Barcelona Provincial Council, Xavier Font , offered updated data on the reality of tourism in the city and the demarcation, emphasizing the challenges of recovery.
Martí Sarrate, president of the Catalan Association of Specialized Travel Agencies (ACAVE), claimed the quality and social role and value of tourism agencies and professionals in the provision of services. Felisa Palacio , from Viatges Tarannà, claimed the human value chain in tourist programming, explaining how her company has been working for thirty years with values based on sustainability and social responsibility.
This was followed by the presentation of the results of the Poblenou Responsible Tourism project, which for a year has worked with the cultural, associative and artisan fabric of Poblenou in the search and identification of activities of interest to visitors.
By working side by side, new experiences have been co-generated from these activities to make available to visitors to the city, and the citizens themselves, sustainable and responsible leisure alternatives in the local tourism Three of these experiences took place during the Conference: La Cervesera de Poblenou , the FotoClub routes and the visit to the Sala Beckett facilities.
During the day, the result of the TurismESS project, developed within the framework of the city’s social and solidarity economy, was also presented. A round table with representatives of the sector analyzed the perspectives and challenges present. Ernest Cañada (Alba Sud), Laura Hernandez (Cooperativa Kalidoscope), and Xavier Rubio (Commissioner of Social and Solidarity Economy) took part.
Aethnic also gathered around a table neighborhood representatives and the productive economy of the neighborhood to discuss the problems and solutions generated by tourism. Pere Nieto , from the AAVV Poblenou, Santiago Hernández , President of the Barcelona Forum District and Enric Urreta , president of the 22@ association, spoke.
The meeting also made it possible to learn about innovative projects such as Bromptolona, Caram, Caram, Identify and Barris que Molen that have been launched to coincide with the pandemic to transform towards sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) of the United Nations . Montse Guàrdia , member of the Observatory of Ethics in AI of Catalonia, moderated a panel to make them known.
The Conference took place in the Auditorium of the Poblenou-Manuel Arranz Library , located in the historic Can Saladrigas facility, and was supported by Barcelona City Council through the Impulsem el Que Fas programs and We strengthen what you do. .
Debates, round tables, analysis and proposals
The speakers have answered questions such as how the sector needs to adapt to the Citizen Commitment for Sustainability and within the framework of ODS of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, in order for it to stop having a negative ecological impact and for it to actively benefit the neighborhoods, reversing the current situation.
The Conference has brought together all those who are interested in the world of tourism: those who are working there (companies, travel agents, tourism schools…) those who study it as an economic and social activity, Public Administrations, and the neighborhood organizations and movements that have made proposals to transform the current model of tourism in Barcelona.
It has also brought together innovative initiatives that, like those promoted by Aethnic, are being rolled out in Barcelona to transform the tourist model into a tool in favor of people and neighbourhoods.
As part of the Conference, the Barcelona Sustainable Tourism Network (XTS) was publicly launched, which will work to continue deploying the SDGs in the context of tourism.