BARCELONA POSITIONS ITSELF AS TOP GLOBAL DESTINATION FOR SCIENCE TOURISM
After the arts, the gastronomy, nightlife, sports and architecture, Barcelona is now positioning itself into a city of the sciences with a specific programme developed by Turisme de Barcelona, the Catalan capital’s tourist board.
The Turisme de Barcelona has launched “Barcelona, science destination”, a new programme designed to promote science tourism through the creation of science and technology products. The project is part of an initiative that aims to create new tourism resources in order to diversify and tailor the city’s narrative to all of its attributes.
“Barcelona, science destination” presents forty-six places of interest and visits classified according to each discipline as well as seven science trails, to showcase the city’s scientific legacy.
The seven trails are 22@ Industrial Relics Trail; Women Scientists Trail; Einstein Trail; Barcelona’s Light Trail; 22@Technology Trail; 22@ Sustainable Buildings Trail; 22@ Innovation Trail.
The city’s science offering is complemented with a themed “What’s on Section” on the Visitbarcelona website. It is being updated daily and features all the events and activities related to science and technology that are taking place in the city.
To reach different segments of the public who may be interested in science, Turisme de Barcelona has defined six types of people with the aim of finding out about their interests and concerns and to adapt the contents to each one with a tailor-made, value proposition. Based on these six profiles, the consortium has created a cross-cutting content strategy to offer each type of person routes and visits to attractions by suggesting the product or experience to all the profiles that have been defined.
The city’s tourist authority expects that this new science-based offering will attract a type of visitor in line with the quality-tourism model the city is looking for. Just like any of its specific, themed products, the consortium has created Barcelona Science card, an admission to twenty-eight science centres and attractions, including the Supercomputing Centre, the Royal Academy of Pharmacy and the Ramon Pla Armengol Foundation.
Another initiative comes from the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub (SciTech DiploHub). The organisation is a pioneering nonprofit public-private partnership backed by leading research centres, universities, non-profits, startups, corporations and public institutions that positions Barcelona as a global lab in science diplomacy for cities around the world.
It has the mandate to elevate the role of science, technology and cities in foreign policy and make Barcelona a more influential player on the global stage by representing its knowledge and innovation ecosystem worldwide.
Capital of scientific and technological tourism in 2023
A statement from the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub revealed: “From 2023 Barcelona will be positioned as the capital of scientific and technological tourism, connecting the main science and technology institutions and projects with international visitors who come to the city every year in the framework of international fairs, business missions and medical, scientific and technological congresses such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), or the European Society of Cardiology Conference (ESC). This is an opportunity to bring added value to the visitor economy and contribute to a more sustainable and quality tourism.”
The action plan consists of an international campaign and a series of visits to the city’s research centers and scientific infrastructures, which will revolve around different thematic axes: life sciences, clinical research, photonics, supercomputing, smart cities, blue economy and climate action. The strategy also includes the celebration of various international science conferences in 2023 in Barcelona, as part of the centenary of Albert Einstein’s visit to the city.
Barcelona’s new science tourism initiative aims to attract more than 100,000 visitors over the next five years and is expected to have a budget of €2 million. The project will be supported among others by Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation, Barcelona Tourism, the Barcelona Provincial Council and the Chamber of Commerce. The Science and Technology Tourism Action Plan will be carried out within the framework of the Barcelona Science Diplomacy Strategy 2022-2026.