May 10, 2019

National tourism and space forum, 27-28 May in La Rochelle, Espace Encan

For the first time in France, tourism and space stakeholders are getting together to showcase innovations at the crossroads of these two sectors. In partnership with the Open Tourisme Lab and Welcome City Lab, CNES—through its Connect by CNES initiative—and the InSpace Institute will be highlighting how space is contributing to the tourism economy. Stand-outs at the two-day event will include round tables, hackathons, workshops with tourism and space professionals and an exhibition space, all illustrating space solutions that are aiding tourism in seaside and mountain resorts, in the countryside or in the city, and helping to make regions more attractive to tourists. The forum will be focusing on how space applications and technologies are adding value, how to best gain advantage from them, the prospects they offer in the short and medium term, and who the main players are.

This event is the result of CNES’s efforts to build and broaden the scope of new space applications with business partners, to reach outside the space sector, to be more attentive to the needs of users, entrepreneurs and institutional stakeholders, and to foster exchanges of technologies. Space is undergoing a fast transformation in terms of technological innovation, exploration and new applications, notably thanks to digital technologies, the exponential increase in volumes of data (from systems such as Pleiades, Copernicus and Galileo) and artificial intelligence. It is thus becoming a great booster for economic and social development. The agency’s Space Applications and Uses Sub-directorate is mobilized for the event and working with the tourism community, a key economic driver for France, to encourage uptake of space technologies and solutions.

Round tables
•    ‘Big data, space data and artificial intelligence: What potential do they hold for tourism?’
Tourism is one of the sectors where the impact of digital transformations is being most keenly felt. This revolution is fuelling new expectations from tourists looking for bespoke offers, innovative and immersive experiences and reliable real-time information when on holiday, more-accurate weather forecasts being a case in point. Space data is part of this picture. For example, geolocation has become a must-have and satellite imagery an element of dynamic context for outdoor applications capable of replicating the environment in all seasons. This round table will provide a chance to see how space data is serving tourism today and how it could help to meet future needs.
•    ‘Managing movements, intermodality and tourist flows: how space is meeting the mobility challenge.’ Mobility and intermodality are key factors in the tourist experience. Tourists are looking for easy connections, accurate information in real time and fluid multimodal travel solutions. At the same time, tourist flows are a rich source of information to help direct movements, avoid overloads, ease congestion and promote alternative areas. All of these aspects pose the issue of the democracy of travel: What is the capacity of a tourist site? How should space be shared? This round table will look at needs and prospects, as well as successful and inspiring initiatives.
•    ‘Environmental issues and sustainable tourism: How is space fuelling the trend?’
Space-based models and solutions are aiding tourism stakeholders in many ways, from promoting the attractions of territories and gauging the impacts of anthropogenic pressures to managing natural resources, identifying threats to ecosystems, conducting in-situ analyses and forecasts, and managing risks. This round table will look at how space data, primarily satellite imagery, can help to develop more eco-friendly tourism policies and practices.

There will be 10 workshops in addition to the programme of round tables, designed to give a more operational picture of solutions being applied in the field.

For the first time ever, the space sector will be setting the tourism sector a challenge on how leading-edge space technologies could be used to help develop innovative tourist applications. This hackathon will tie in with the ActInSpace competition organized by CNES and involve two partner schools, La Rochelle Tourism & Hospitality School and La Rochelle EIGSI, with a view to combining the talents of tomorrow’s tourism professionals and engineers. There will be 60 students competing in 12 mixed teams, who will have 48 hours to solve the challenges set:
•    Big data, space data and artificial intelligence: What potential do they hold for tourism?
•    Managing movements, intermodality and tourist flows: how space is meeting the mobility challenge.
•    Environmental issues and sustainable tourism: How is space fuelling the trend?

The national tourism and space forum is supported by France Tourisme Lab, La Rochelle Borough Community, La Rochelle Tourism and Hospitality School, Nouvelle Aquitaine Regional Council and the City of La Rochelle. Air France and Charentes Tourisme are the event sponsors.

Register for the event here
Press briefing scheduled Monday 27 May at 4.00 p.m.

For the full programme and details of the national tourism and space forum, see here

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51
Sébastien Martignac    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 35