How Malaga is using ‘smart tourism’ to rebound from Covid

how malaga is using smart tourism to rebound from covid


ith a population of about 1.1 million people, Malaga is Spain’s sixth largest city and a major economic leader in the southern part of Andalucia. But the city isn’t just a transportation hub; it’s also a destination in itself. 

The last few decades have seen major transformations to make it more pedestrian-friendly. These have made it a popular urban destination and even led to a tremendous rise in tourism, with close to three million visitors in 2019.

“To handle this growth, we needed to be smart and use technology to our advantage,” says Marc Sanderson, director of international economic development for the City of Malaga. 

“Luckily, Malaga is located in an innovative ecosystem we call Malaga Valley. Many technology companies (from Spain and abroad) work here – there’s a concentration at the Malaga Tech Park, just 15km outside the city. The presence of these major companies allowed us to start implementing solutions many years ago; not only for tourism but also for sustainability and the environment.”

Now the city – along with Gothenburg in Sweden – has been selected as co-winner of the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. The award has verified the city’s strategic plan, proving that its initiatives are good for both tourists and citizens, all the while providing a solid basis for a travel restart in the wake of Covid-19.

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