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Learn more about how a coastal city in the Canary Islands of Spain is embracing “smart tourism” as part of its ambitious smart city project with help from T-Systems’ AERO-PULSE platform.

Imagine you’re heading out to the beach for a bit of sun and sand, and the app on your cellphone prompts you to take a detour to a quieter, less crowded beach instead and also guides you to the parking spot closest to your destination! This will soon be a reality in the sunny municipality of Adeje, which is located in southwest Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands in Spain.

 

 

The need for smarter beaches

T-Systems is working with Red.es and the Adeje City Council on a turnkey project – called the Adeje Destino Turístico Inteligente (DTI) initiative – which aims to transform 10 of the coastal city’s beaches into smart beaches for its tourists and also improve the existing civic infrastructure for its citizens. The ambitious DTI initiative comprises 14 service components, which will be developed on the ICT provider’s AERO-PULSE platform.

Adeje derives a major part of its revenue from tourism – this is quasi representative for the whole of Tenerife. Thus, tourism is responsible for about a third of the gross national product of the island and (before Corona) employed 35 percent of the local workforce. Adeje’s city council wanted to find a way to welcome the influx of tourists – after a few gap years enforced by the pandemic – and devise new “digital” ways of catering to the needs of the digitally inclined visitors who want information at their fingertips.

However, any spike in tourist footfall would lead to overcrowding on the beaches and also create sustainability issues related to water and energy consumption. The Adeje council wanted a solution to address the concerns of the citizens and provide their staff the data and transparency to manage the tourists.

To enable this, the DTI initiative was initially endowed with nearly 6 million Euros as the beneficiary of the Red.es “Intelligent Tourist Destinations” call, with co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Pluriregional Operational Program of Spain (POPE). Red.es is a public corporate entity of the Ministry of Economy and Business. From a functional perspective, it depends on the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement.

By converting Adeje into a smart tourist destination, the goal was to improve resource management, maximize competitiveness, and enhance sustainability using technological innovations and practices. The municipality wanted a single intelligent platform that could benefit all the key players involved – the city council staff, the tourists, and last but not the least, the city’s almost 50,000 citizens. The technology will also improve the efficiency of the city’s services, such as capacity control on its most-crowded beaches or optimizing the use of shower water consumption during peak hours.

About the project

To enable the Adeje DTI project, T-Systems developed the Adeje DTI Intelligent Destination platform and Smart Adeje App. This project will cover 10 major beaches in Adeje – namely, Troya I, Troya II, Playa del Bobo, La Pinta, Torviscas, Fañabé, Playa del Duque Norte and Duque Sur, La Enramada, and Ajabo – and monitor the influx of people in the beach area, thanks to a camera system with different counting strategies. In addition, data will also be collected on water consumption in the showers or noise levels, among other information that the Adeje City Council will be able to access through a smart beach management dashboard.

In this solution, all the sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are connected and will deliver data into the central platform. This data will be made available on the Adeje DTI Intelligent Destination platform and the Smart Adeje mobile app for the tourists as well as the city council staff. Together with these systems, local citizens and tourists will also have interactive information points available. The data collected and predictive analysis therein can help the city council with active management such as issuing timely notifications and enable the tourists to make smarter decisions – choosing a peaceful location, for example.

The Smart Adeje mobile application is fully configurable according to the user’s preferences and will provide vital information about the tourist spots in Adeje, mobility and transport services or smart parking. Apart from the information about the smart elements integrated with the city management systems, the app will also help tourists with trip planning. The app also has a notification service for users based on their location, enabled by the installation of more than 200 Bluetooth beacons throughout the municipality.

However, the project is not intended to make life easier only for the tourists. Local citizens of Adeje will also benefit from smart irrigation solutions, smart lighting, smart waste management, smart parking systems, improved energy efficiency for public buildings, and so on. All these services will be integrated into the AERO-PULSE platform. The LoRaWAN™ communications network development will enable communication between the 14 different service components of the project.

The Intelligent Lighting component of this project, for example, will see 235 lighting management elements being installed throughout Adeje to collect data on lighting and electricity consumption. It will also enable remote management of the lighting.

The smart irrigation and meteorology component will enable the Adeje City Council to monitor and optimize water consumption in eight parks where weather stations will also be installed to k ow the weather conditions in the area.

Intelligent waste management will enable optimization of waste collection tasks through the monitoring of 16 collection trucks and more than 644 containers of different fractions.

As part of the Tourist Wi-Fi Network component, the city will deploy 67 free Wi-Fi access points that will provide residents and tourists with access to online services offered by the City Council.

The intelligent parking system, when functional, will guide drivers to 7 public parking lots that will be monitored space by space (approximately 1,360 spaces).

The “energy efficiency management in public buildings” component will help improve the energy efficiency of 37 public buildings through the monitoring of electricity consumption, temperature, and environmental parameters.

Through the CONSUL open-source participation platform and the Smart Adeje App, citizens can also voice and seek faster redressal for their concerns, and participate in consultations and surveys.

As José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, Mayor of Adeje, says: “We are investing, so that these new digital and technological tools improve our tourist destination and the attention to visitors. But above all, it is about improving people’s lives. We want to do everything in our power to reduce the carbon footprint and emissions, and this project goes along those lines.”

 

The Future of Tourism in Adeje

As is typical with the Digital Age we live in, tourists are no longer content with just visiting a place, but they also want to enjoy unique and real experiences. By making information easily available to different stakeholders and utilizing intelligent systems, the city council can make significant improvements in the integration and interaction of tourists.

The hyperconnectivity through the new mobile application and platform will make the tourist experience in Adeje easier and more flexible. For the municipality of Adeje, the benefits include optimization of resources and capabilities. The platform supports public services management, monitoring of citizen services, and improved experiences for the citizens and tourists.

“As the different phases of the project are implemented, an interconnected and intelligent system will boost resource management while maximizing both destination competitiveness and consumer satisfaction. It will also help in meeting the sustainability demands of the island, such as water conservation, which is vital for the region and for reducing the carbon footprint. As the project moves along, it can pave new roads for further improvement in tourist experiences and additional opportunities for all,” says Pedro Garibi, Project Manager from T-Systems.