Madrid Precious Time: Collaboration for innovative city tourism

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The UNWTO Madrid Precious Time prototype was launched at ITB 2014 showcasing how the public and private sector from areas including hospitality, technology, handicrafts, retail and insurance can work together to create new and innovative tourism products. This pilot project counts on the collaboration of the Madrid City Council and the support of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain. The Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, and the Spanish State Secretary of Tourism, Isabel Borrego, joined UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai at the launch (Berlín, Germany, 5 March).

Madrid Precious Time was born back in 2012, when 22 cities came together in Istanbul to identify the challenges facing city tourism today.

The project gathers public and private sector partners from diverse areas such as technology, hospitality, arts and culture, handicrafts, retail, design and insurance, working together to create new and innovative products that would help position Madrid as a ‘Premium’ destination. This prototype aims to serve as a template for collaborative approaches to the development of new tourism products in city destinations.

“There can be no tourism development without a close relationship between public and private sector; we believe the tourism sector needs to find new approaches to public/private sector collaboration to keep pace with the changes in the market and we hope this can become a model for others to follow,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, during the launch of the project.

The Madrid Mayor, Ana Botella, stressed that “this model of public-private collaboration brings together the best of Spain’s and Madrid’s tradition, modernity and innovation.”

Representing the Spanish Government, the Secretary of State of Tourism, Isabel Borrego, underscored: “Sun and beach tourism are not everything Spain has to offer. Further developing city tourism will help to diversify our tourism offer and economy.”

Note to editors:

The UNWTO Madrid Precious Time prototype is led by the UNWTO Affiliate Members, a part of UNWTO membership that gathers companies, academia and destinations, and is thus the perfect framework to test new approaches in tourism collaboration and innovation.

This project represents a practical learning exercise and produces a model that can be replicated in other cities and continuously improved in terms of implementation and innovation; a model that creates higher added value for cities’ tourists and greater and more sustainable benefits for local communities.

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