BlueBay Hotels, the eighth Spanish hotel company by international presence and the 10th largest hotel group regarding hotel rooms, has launched the “BlueBay Living Lab Hotel” at BlueBay Hotels’ Hotel Beach Club in San Agustín, Gran Canaria. Hotels chains from the Canaries (Grupo Satocan, HD Hotels, and Dunas Hoteles), the ITC and the Gran Canaria Tourism Board are also collaborating on the project with BlueBay Hotels. With a philosophy of open innovation, the aim is to create an innovation ecosystem to mobilise and enable/facilitate implementing innovation in the Canary Islands tourism sector, so the islands and especially Gran Canaria become world leaders in tourism innovation. BlueBay Hotels’ Tourism Innovation Lab is located in San Agustín (Gran Canaria) and will be the operational centre where they will analyse and develop innovations that result from collaboration between tourism companies, entrepreneurs, and ICT companies in the Canary Islands.
“We feel very proud to have promoted an initiative that aims to promote innovation between public and private stakeholders/agencies/actors. The exchange of knowledge, and the development and implementationm of the innovation is crucial/vital/essential for the Canary Islands and Spanish tourism sector maintain its/their lead//leadership”, stated//said Jamal Satli Iglesias, Chairman of BlueBay Hotels.
“This living lab will allow us to bring together startups, ITC entrepreneurs, the hotel sector, and the public administration with the common goal of innovating. IT companies such as Zennio, Feeltourist, Microsoft, along with tourism companies such as Grupo Satocan, HD Hotels, and Hoteles Dunas have already joined the project to create/creating an Alliance for Tourism Innovation and we hope more companies follow suit in the future. Between all of us, we’ll launch innovative projects, alayse their viability and design a roadmap to position the Canary Islands and Gran Canaria at the forefront of the tourism industry”, said/explained/added Ramón Hernández, CEO of BlueBay Hotels.
Public and private institutions joined through/by innovation
Executives of public institutions that participate in this initiative as the ITC Manager, Gabriel Megías Martínez; the Minister of Tourism of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Inés Jiménez; and private entities such as the Director General of Tourism of Satocan, Mariluz Fraile; the Commercial Director of HD Hotels, Armando Rodríguez and Ángel Luis Tadeo, CEO of Dunas Hotels & Resorts, have transferred their support to the project.
“The Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC), through its departments of Innovation and Scientific and Technological Computing, will provide technical support for the definition of innovative projects arising within the framework of this Tourism Innovation model and in the identification of calls that favor the acquisition of financing; also will offer advice in software engineering to develop digital solutions with quality and adapted to the market, “said the Manager of the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands, Gabriel Megías Martínez.
“Innovation is not only digital economy or the internet, but also has to do with social innovation and directly affects a sector as technified as tourism,” said the Minister of Tourism of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Inés Jiménez, who praised the initiative led by BlueBay Hotels, since it helps to position Gran Canaria as a benchmark destination in the analysis of new trends that improve the competitiveness of the tourism industry worldwide.
Mariluz Fraile, Director General of Tourism of Satocan has said that “we are very excited to be part of this project and have the opportunity to share the concerns that we have about tourism innovation. This type of synergies will allow us all to go faster in innovation processes and be more competitive “.
For HD Hotels this initiative “is a great scenario that will allow us to publicize and share our innovative HD Sense Connect concept, a new proposal within the tourism sector that not only improves the organization of the establishment, but also achieves greater knowledge of the client and his satisfaction, placing the internal and external client in the center of all the processes “, explained Armando Rodríguez, Commercial Director of HD Hotels.
For his part, Angel Luis Tadeo, CEO Dunas Hotels & Resorts, said that “we must be agile to live in the digital world and to adjust to the needs of the consumer. In order to be able to innovate at a faster pace, we understand that it is necessary to collaborate with this type of initiative “.
The physical space of the “Living Lab Hotel” of BlueBay Hotels
Innovation is one of the cornerstones of the BlueBay Hotels management model. In fact, and in order to launch innovative initiatives, the company designed in 2016 its route to “InnoBBación”. “We have verified that innovation needs a physical space and qualified professionals that collect ideas, evaluate them and put them in motion, as well as having a direct relationship with the destination as is the case of Gran Canaria” explains Jimmy Pons, innovation maker of BlueBay Hotels. “The BlueBay Hotels Innovation Laboratory located in the Beach Club Hotel (****) responds to these needs by having the professionals and equipment necessary to incorporate innovation into the DNA of the Canarian tourist industry”, adds Jamal Satli Iglesias , president of BlueBay Hotels.
As a permanent experimentation center, BlueBay Hotels puts at the disposal of the project a team of professionals working with agile philosophy and Startup formed by: Jimmy Pons, innovation maker of BlueBay Hotels; Rodrigo Ortíz, manager of the Innovation Lab at BlueBay Hotels; 4 developers, 1 graphic designer, 1 project coordinator, in addition to the timely incorporation of other group professionals, depending on the project. In addition, the participating chains will also put their resources and hotels to develop common projects with the aim of advancing faster in the implementation of innovation in companies.