This week we move from West Flanders in Belgium to the Basque Country (Spain) to continue learning more about the Regional Action Plans developed within the DEVISE project. Our partners from Fomento San Sebastian present the main actions of their RAP.

DEVISE’s Basque partners explain that the retail and hospitality sectors are one of the historical mainstays in the production profile of the city of Donostia-San Sebastián and of its job market (it is estimated that both account for the 32.5% of businesses in the city), therefore, they will be the main beneficiaries of the actions developed in this RAP.

Fomento San Sebastián supports businesses in these traditional sectors to help them move into the opportunities offered by the digital framework and give them proper access to the knowledge and digital solutions available in the sector of companies and organisations providing digital services. “It has been forecasted that businesses in traditional sectors such as retail and hospitality which do not innovate and do not take up digital transformation processes may experience situations of lower productivity, profits and competitiveness”, explains our DEVISE project partner Lourdes Blanco from Fomento San Sebastian.

On top of that, “the state of alarm caused by Covid-19 has pointed out the need for these traditional economic sectors to step up the pace of transformation and adapt their ways of working and their business models in order to maintain their competitive dimension and survive over time”, adds Lourdes. On these premises, FSS has drawn up four actions:

  1. Awareness and digital training programme for the retail and hospitality sectors in the city of San Sebastián: to improve upon the recent ‘Digital Training Programme for retail and hospitality sectors’ posted on the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform as a DEVISE project good Practice.
  2. Technology Consultancy Programme to boost the digital transformation of retail and hospitality: whereby an expert digitalisation consultancy service will advise businesses on the technology solution most suited to each company.
  3. Vouchers Programme for the implementation of digital solutions and applications in the retail and hospitality sectors: a programme of economic assistance for the implementation of digital solutions.
  4. Digital Maturity Assessment Tool (DMAT) to support digital transformation of the retail and hospitality sectors: Fomento San Sebastian is developing this pilot action in cooperation with DEVISE partners Northern and Western Regional Assembly (Ireland) and Business Agency Association (Bulgaria).

These four actions complement and enhance each other to encourage providers of digitalisation solutions to offer products and services adapted to the retail and hospitality sectors in San Sebastián, sectors mostly composed of small businesses which need to modernise their capacity and their offer if they are to be competitive. “The intention is to use the programmes described in this Action Plan to involve 300 SMEs in a training programme on the potential of new technologies”, continues our DEVISE partner. According to her, the specific areas of digital strategy to be addressed are Digital Marketing, Ecommerce and Analytic Intelligence.

Read here Fomento San Sebastian’s Action Plan.