wakalua participates in “mañana”, the local Spanish initiative creating a better, more sustainable and more human future for all.

4 Male panelists seated in front of screen with logo wakalua
4 Male panelists seated in front of screen with logo wakalua
Marcelo Risi, Luis Cueto Alvarez de Sotomayor, Xavier Suñol and Mario Romero Junquera

In June 2019, global tourism innovation hub wakalua participated in the first edition of the initiative “mañana(Spanish for “tomorrow”), setting out to discover the most innovative and human solutions addressing critical challenges our society faces today.

The mañana initiative aims to unite and activate Spain’s future ecosystem, including: companies, institutions, scientists, educators and citizens, taking the lead role in driving initiatives that create a better, friendlier and safer tomorrow for the planet and all people. Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the event focused on three key areas: sustainable growth, habitability and well-being.

Making tourism more sustainable and respectful

Together with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), wakalua organized the roundtable discussion, “Urban tourism, building cities for everyone”, which focused on the management and impact of city tourism alongside the emergence of Big Data.

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Marcelo Risi, UNWTO Communications Director, led the conversation with Luis Cueto Alvarez de Sotomayor, Madrid Townhall General Coordinator, Xavier Suñol, Barcelona Townhall Director of Tourism, and Mario Romero Junquera of LUCA AI Powered, Telefonica’s Big Data services unit.

The roundtable was followed by a conversation with Pablo Pascale, who oversees civic innovation at the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB). Pablo featured SEGIB’s work in the area of innovation, providing an outstanding example of connecting civil society and public institutions in the 21st century, boosting social transformation, democratic governance, and social, cultural and economic development.

Later in the afternoon, Luis Ureta, wakalua Co-Director, together with Natalia Bayona, Senior Expert in Innovation and Digital Transformation at UNWTO and Luis Miguel Ciprés, CEO at Barrabés Biz, gave a presentation on the origins and growth of wakalua, the tourism innovation hub. The presentation underlined the need for innovation in the tourism sector in order to achieve sustainable tourism solutions in the future.

Award-winning startup opens up travel opportunities for senior citizens

Peter Mangan, CEO of the Freebird Club, an award- winning peer-to-peer social travel and homestay club for older adults and finalist at the first UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition in 2019, joined wakalua during the event. Peter Mangan discussed the Freebird Club’s winning formula of opening up a new avenue of travel for mature adults, while giving them a new way of generating income in their later years as well as creating a fun and accessible way of social and cultural interaction, thereby combating social isolation and loneliness.

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We want to discover the most innovative, disruptive and sustainable solutions in tourism for tomorrow’s traveler. Be part of it. #wakaluahub

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