Authorities in Murcia have turned to Artificial Intelligence to boost their understanding of tourists’ preferences and enhance their experiences when visiting the region.

Earlier this year the regional Institute of Tourism (ITREM) launched an AI and advanced data analytics initiative for the industry, “’Smart Observatory”, with the aim of improving decision-making and applying techniques that ensure best tourism practices are implemented and followed – especially in the gastronomic, cultural and religious, and sustainable tourism sectors.

One of the key conclusions is that the region enjoys excellent and universal acceptance on social networks as a highly attractive tourist destination. The study also predicted that overall hotel occupancy in the region this summer could exceed pre-COVID rate in 2019 by 20 per cent, and that – specifically, in 2023 – the number of British tourists staying in hotels in the region is likely to increase by five per cent.

According to the regional minister for tourism, Marcos Ortuño, “With this information, both administrations and operators and other actors in the sector will be able to optimise their strategic decisions and anticipate the needs of tourists in order to offer them a quality experience and better meet their expectations.”

Other tourism data compiled by regional tourism authorities this summer found that the newly updated turismoregiondemurcia.es website had received 1.5 million page visits since its launch, international tourism numbers in Murcia remain considerably higher than the national average, and the region is recognised as a popular holiday destination throughout the year, not just the peak summer season, among both national and international visitors. 

The region’s renowned gastronomy is one of the main attractions for tourists, almost as popular as Murcia’s award-winning beaches. Nature follows closely behind, with more than 300,000 visitors enjoying the region’s 185 kilometres of “vías verdes” (greenways) – Ideal for both hikers and cyclists – during the first six months of the year. 

Another sector that continues to experience strong growth in Murcía is tourism for groups. For ITREM director Juan Francisco Martínez, the main benefits that Murcia offers to groups is its superb year-round climate, the “comfortable size” of of its main Costa Cáida resort areas, a constantly evolving and upgraded hotel infrastructure, highly qualified teams of professionals, and diverse leisure options that include “blue tourism” along more than 250 kilometres of coastline, active tourism (hiking and cycling), golf, wine routes, thalassotherapy and spas.

Photos supplied by Murcia Regional Tourism Ministry

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