The University Laboratory for Smart Tourism (TI-LAB) is an integrated area for research and teaching in tourism, created under the agreement established between Torrevieja City Council and the University of Alicante (UA). Specifically, TI-LAB is an innovation unit associated with the UA headquarters in Torrevieja in partnership with the University Institute for Tourism Research (IUIT) and the University Institute for Computer Research (IUII), both research and teaching centers of the UA.
The main aims of the TI-LAB are:
- To promote knowledge associated with innovation and sustainability in tourism.
- To promote knowledge about the residential tourism market.
- To identify the needs of the tourism sector in accordance with the trends and needs of the markets and different actors.
- To promote the implementation of smart, sustainable, and innovative tourism models, based on the design of new approaches to the management of the activity.
- To develop new collaborative approaches between public and private stakeholders, in order to promote the innovative ecosystem of a Smart Tourism Destination.
- Encourage the application of new technologies aligned with the destination’s global objectives (Estrategia de Turismo de Torrevieja)
For the fulfillment of these objectives, TI-LAB develops different actions framed in four strategic lines of action:
- TRAINING. Actions whose final objective is to develop a training strategy in the domain of tourism, paying special attention to the processes of innovation, sustainability, and intelligence. Priority themes include tourism, the application of technologies to tourism, and new management approaches.
- R&D&I. Development of reports, studies and projects, seminars and conferences, R&D and innovation awards on different themes. Priority themes include the analysis of residential tourism, the promotion of stays by guest researchers who develop related lines of research, the attraction of doctoral students with related thesis projects, and the organizing of congresses.
- ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Design of innovative collaborative approaches between public and private stakeholders with the aim of promoting an ecosystem that is typical of a smart destination. Among the key themes is the implementation of different actions with the aim of producing synergies derived from the business union and university talent, collaboration with the UA science park for the innovation/creation of tourism companies, thus promoting the transfer of knowledge from the university to society.
- LIVINGLAB. Development of pilot projects or experiences that turn Torrevieja into a referent, for example, that also include the attraction of national and international financial resources for the development of innovative projects.