Digital Innovation in Tourism

Work Team


The Digital Innovation in Tourism Observatory was established in 2014 to study and understand the evolution of one of the most significant economic sectors in Italy: Tourism. Competitiveness in this sector is increasingly influenced by the use of digital technologies as regards tourist relations and service management. Particularly interesting are the new “tourist image” that is taking shape, and the different modes of interaction among supply chain players. The goal of the Observatory is therefore to guide Italian companies in understanding digital travel dynamics and identify the opportunities that such tools can provide in developing business strategies and to institutions.


Activities planned by the Observatory in 2018 are:

  • conduct Research to understand the state of adoption of digital tools in leisure and business trips and outline the main digital scenarios of this sector for both demand and offer sides;
  • organize vertical workshops on Research relevant themes (e.g. Omnichannel tourist distribution, destination Digital Tourist Journey, Travel consultancy, Innovative tools in Business Travel, Startups, etc.) reserved for the Observatory Community;
  • organize a public conference at Rimini Fiera TTG to communicate and promote Research results and two workshops on innovative Travel topics;
  • organize a closing conference at the Politecnico di Milano to present Research results and discuss with main sector stakeholders;
  • write various Reports with main Research results distributed both in paper and electronic form;
  • participate at public events organized by Partner companies or trade associations;
  • continuous presence in general and trade Media to enhance Research results’ cultural effect and promote opportunities.


The activities are based on measuring the impact that the various digital tools have on some prominent supply chain players (e.g. Travel agencies, Local authorities, Destination, accommodation facilities, etc.) and to work closely with such players through Innovation Labs, direct comparisons with related sectors, and establishing Advisory Boards to support activities.


The Observatory thus enables the players involved to understand how to prepare themselves to face the challenges and grab the opportunities of digital tourism.


The Observatory’s research is structured according to the following topics:

  • Cross analyses: quantify the digital Tourism in Italy (revenue generated through digital channels); startups and innovation drivers (evolution of the frontier of innovation, trends and innovative business models);
  • Omnichannel tourist distribution: lead generation (digital marketing tools, omnichannel solutions and zapping, marketplaces, etc.) and recursiveness (loyalty, sharing, Customer Care management, etc.);
  • Destination activities: digital Tourist behavior throughout the Journey (products and services purchased; channels and tools used, etc.);
  • Travel consultancy: an in depth look at the customized consultancy approach and the tools enabling this mode of interaction with customers;
  • Business travel: innovative tools used throughout the Digital business traveler journey, role of mobile technology, business travelers’ behaviors and requirements. Travel manager role, cost-effectiveness analysis of the most innovative solutions, etc.


Research relies on different methods:

  • monitor sector literature and top news (national and international) to identify the most meaningful trends;
  • investigate supply chain players (both demand and offer sides);
  • study successful and unsuccessful travel Consultant cases;
  • study Business Travel cases to learn more about the impacts (costs, benefits, criticalities) on companies adopting mission management digital tools.


Impact is evaluated through original analytic and quantitative models designed by the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano and applied to real business cases in Italy.


Sponsorship opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

More Details

Partners and Sponsors

For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Digital Innovation in Tourism Observatory, please contact Filippo Renga(email: filippo.renga@polimi.it).