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The DIGIMED Jean Monnet Chair at the 18th International Conference on Internet, Law and Politics, Barcelona, 15 June 2023

On June 15, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya celebrated the 18th edition of the IDP – International Conference on Internet, Law and Politics, a well-established conference that brings together three intertwined axes of our digital societies.

This year, the Jean Monnet Chair in Mediterranean Digital Societies and Law co-organised the event with a panel on Tourism and Data. The panel, moderated by Miquel Peguera Poch, full professor at UOC and member of the Jean Monnet Chair’s Teaching Team, focused on tourism as a key component of Mediterranean digital societies.

Responsible, sustainable and culturally inspired tourism can take advantage of the vast amount of data generated within the world’s leading travel destination, the Mediterranean region, to analyse and predict the preferences, patterns and interests of tourists. The free flow of data can therefore be a key element to strengthen tourism governance at the macro level and to promote a common transnational data space, as well as to increase transparency in critical areas of the tourism sector, such as short-term accommodation.

The panel discussion addressed these different issues from a variety of perspectives, addressing their legal, technological, social and management dimensions. Prof. Mantelero focused his presentation on the main drivers of tourism and data, and on the digital ecosystem that characterises the use of data for tourism purposes by different actors. Providing a forward-looking perspective, he also discussed the EU tourism data space within the context of the Mediterranean space, emphasising the need for a Mediterranean space uniting all countries, based on legal and technical interoperability with framework agreements on data governance at different levels.

Ms Galasso (Intellera consulting) presented the framework elaborated by the EU-funded DATES project for the future European data space for tourism, dealing with the methodological approach and the role of the different stakeholders involved. She also presented a use case centred on the optimisation of tourist flows in protected areas.

Finally, Prof. Apol·lònia Martínez Nadal (full professor at the Universitat de les Illes Balears) provided an analysis of the forthcoming EU regulation. Through the examination of the evolution of short-term rental in Spain, she pointed out the emerging issue related to this type of rental agreement in Mediterranean societies. Against this background, she provided a critical analysis of the EU proposal the short-term rental sector and its potential impact.