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UNE and SEGITTUR join forces to promote standards for smart tourism


The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, has signed a partnership agreement with SEGITTUR to encourage the standardization of the tourism sector, and of smart tourism in particular. The agreement will promote the activity of the institutional committee to coordinate tourism standards and seals, UNETUR, under the UNE technical secretariat, as a driving force to maintain Spain's leadership position in tourism. It will also promote the sustainability, digital transformation and competitiveness of the sector through technical standards that optimize the country's leadership position in the international tourism market. Training on standardization is also planned for agents in the sector.

The partnership was signed at FITUR by the president of SEGITTUR, Enrique Martínez Marín, and the CEO of UNE, Javier García Díaz, during Fitur Know-How & Export, a SEGITTUR and FITUR event, in collaboration with ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones. UNE took part in a conference on "Standardization at the service of the tourism sector", which also included representatives of ICTE, GVAM and SEGITTUR.

Spain, smart destination

Pursuant to the agreement, eight new standards will be approved in 2022 involving smart tourism, which will create a uniform framework to promote the digitization of destinations.

Two of them have just been published: the UNE 178502 standard, which lays out the indicators and tools of smart tourist destinations, and the UNE 178503 standard, which details aspects to ensure semantic interoperability at this type of destination. These standards update those published in 2018 and 2019, which were world firsts at the time. The standards are regularly revised to adapt them to the new needs of organizations, their context and advances in technology.

Six future innovative standards

In addition, six standards will be published this year, focusing on optimizing aspects such as website creation, a model for mobile apps and Wi-Fi applications on beaches. All of these innovative themes seek to address the transformation of Spain's tourism model. The following draft standards are currently in the public information phase:

  • The update to the UNE 178504 Standard, led by the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero (ITH), which furthers the digitization of hotels and enhances their connectivity.
  • The future UNE 178505 standard, led by SEGITTUR, will establish the framework for creating websites for tourist destinations.
  • UNE Standard 178506, coordinated by SEGITTUR, will define a methodology for the search engine optimization (SEO) of websites for tourist destinations.
  • The UNE 178507 standard, led by Visit Benidorm and Wiongo, which develops applications for Wi-Fi connections on beaches.
  • The new UNE 178508 standard, coordinated by GVAM, will specify the requirements for the development, design and content of mobile applications for smart tourist destinations.
  • The UNE 178509 IN report, coordinated by the Regional Government of Murcia (CARM), will present the current situation with regard to the model for gathering, exploiting and analysing tourist data. 

Underpinning all of these standards is UNE 178501, which lays out a management system for smart tourist destinations that relies on governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability. In 2018, it became the first global standard in the field and was led by SEGITTUR.

Safe tourism vs. COVID-19

Spain is a world leader in tourism standards. An example is the UNE 0066 specification for safe tourism in times of COVID-19, which was the basis for developing the ISO/PAS 5643 international standard. It emerged from the assignment issued by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism through the Secretary of State for Tourism, to the ICTE (Institute for Quality Tourism in Spain) in an effort to standardize protocols nationally for the different tourism sub-sectors.

Spain has numerous UNE quality standards for tourism, many of which have been elevated to international ISO standards through the ISO/TC 228 Tourism and related services committee, chaired by the ICTE and UNE secretariat, making them global benchmarks.

Press release​​​​​