Fomento de San Sebastián, within the framework of DEVISE project, 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 24 May 2019. It was a multi-sectoral meeting, in which 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 service suppliers. There was also an opportunity to discuss and analyse the steps to follow, to support the implementation of digitalisation processes.

The workshop, in which representatives from the local hospitality and retail sectors and digital services companies took part, began with a presentation by Fomento de San Sebastián: both on its digitalisation strategy and initiatives that it is carrying out; on the main conclusions from the report drawn up on the analysis of the local supply and demand of digital services; and, the result of the work carried out in recent months in collaboration with companies from San Sebastian through questionnaires and work sessions conducted for this purpose. There was also an opportunity to explain the good practices related to digital transformation in strategic sectors, which were presented to date by DEVISE partners as part of the process of exchange of experiences and learning that this project fosters.

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”.

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 DEVISE project over the coming 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.

The project is pursuing an innovative inter-sectoral 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.

Source: Fomento de San Sebastián