Tourism 4.0 at the European Forum Alpbach
European Forum Alpbach was established in 1945 by intellectuals who wanted to co-create the future and not only follow the changes. Today the Forum is one of the main European events that gathers the leading experts and decision-makers from academia, politics, culture and civil society.
A unique network of leaders and people driving changes in our society
We live in an age that is marked by fast changes. Often we take for granted that the technology will solve all the challenges and forget that it is on us, people, to drive the process. The big question is how do we want to organize our society. This kind of issues and ideas are discussed at the European Forum Alpbach, an interdisciplinary platform where 5.000 participants from 90 countries are engaging in debates on science, economy, politics and culture of current issues and our future. As we are a part of the global community that is trying to co-create the positive changes in our future, we were delighted to contribute to the discussions and foster some as well.
The Alpbach village offers a truly intensive programme, receptions and many informal gatherings at all times of the day. Most of all, it enables the participants to meet in person people like (on the picture from the left) Hannes Androsch, a businessman and politician, or Dr. Franz Fischler, former European Commissioner and the current president of the Forum with members of the Arctur team.
This year also the president of Slovenia has been speaking at the European Forum Alpbach. Tomi Ilijaš and Dr. Urška Starc-Peceny have met with him in order to present the initiative of Tourism 4.0. Borut Pahor expressed his support pointing out that this is a unique opportunity that Slovenia should not miss.
Tourism 4.0 and interdisciplinarity
Tourism 4.0 is a new paradigm, which transfers the technology of the industry 4.0 to the sector of tourism. There are some similar ideas appearing around the world. However, Slovenia is approaching it in a very systematic and holistic manner. It was born in the research team of Arctur Ltd., a company creating ground-breaking technology in the private and public sector for over 25 years. Outside Slovenia the company is known as the leading provider of supercomputer services to SMEs and an innovator in the field of IoT and hi-tech. Tomi Ilijaš, the owner and director of Arctur, invited a range of experts from a non-technology background in order to create an interdisciplinary team to tackle the issue holistically. His visionary attitude brought experts for big data and blockchain technology to the company already seven years ago. This is certainly connected to the fact that the research team has access to top edge technology such as a five million worth supercomputer. One of the projects of Arctur research group is the 1.6 million research project called Tourism 4.0 that involves all three universities from Slovenia led by Dr. Urška Starc-Peceny is meant to create an ecosystem, where various stakeholders working in the tourism sector can collaborate. Even though the project formally starts in September, it is already possible to support the Tourism 4.0 Partnership by signing the declaration or contribute ideas.
Testing the ideas with selected young internationals
At the European Forum Alpbach we were invited to speak at a fireside talk organized in cooperation with the Club Alpbach Senza Confini, where we brainstormed with students and young professional from all over the globe. We discussed in detail some ideas related to Tourism 4.0 such as how to use the green crypto-token to motivate tourist to travel more sustainably, and how can AI enables recommendations that are not based on past preferences but suggest novel experiences promoting the discovery of the tourist destination etc. Arctur team had participated in many other inspiring debates, namely at the fireside talk on Fostering Innovation and Collaboration in Space Hi-tech and the Alpe-Adria reception that hosted a workshop on entrepreneurship in the region. Dr. Vesna Kuralt, who is the president of the club and a member of Arctur’s research team will continue to connect Tourism 4.0 with the Alpbach community and their ideas of the tourism of the future.