Mastercard Launches Tourism Innovation Center in Spain | Associated press

MADRID–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 20, 2022–

Mastercard today announced the creation of a new tourism innovation center in Spain, with the support of the Spanish government. The Madrid-based Hub, which will open in the second quarter of 2022, will develop solutions to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery for the global tourism sector through innovation, research and collaboration across the ecosystem. The initiative was ratified today, during the FITUR International Tourism Fair, between Reyes Maroto, Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe.

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From left to right: Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe and Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. (Photo: BusinessWire)

In 2019, travel and tourism accounted for 10.4% of global GDP, but almost halved to 5.5% in 2020 – similarly, international visitors spent US$1,691.5 billion in 2019 and this amount fell to US$517.6 billion in 2020 1. And according to its latest forecast, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that international tourist arrivals have remained 70-75% below levels from 2019 to last 2 years. The impact also goes beyond GDP figures, with the industry playing a vital role in creating jobs and creating opportunities for micro and small businesses around the world.

But despite the obvious challenges, Mastercard’s data shows that there are opportunities for a robust recovery in the relatively near future. Many consumers are looking to spend their share of the additional US$5 trillion saved since the start of COVID-19 3, and travel ranks second after restaurant dining as the most missed out-of-home activity during the 4 shutdowns. There has been a clear willingness to travel that has been determined by pandemic restrictions.

“There has been a multi-trillion dollar impact on the global tourism industry over the past two years, but Mastercard is committed to driving innovation and ensuring technology is harnessed for a more inclusive recovery, fair and sustainable,” said Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe. “The Tourism Innovation Hub will foster programs and build partnerships that will help the industry recover and drive more inclusive and sustainable tourism growth. Being located in Spain will allow us to take advantage of the expertise of a country intrinsically linked to tourism and the second most visited destination in the world.”

Spanish Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said: “The Spanish government believes that now is the time for us to work together to build the future of our post-pandemic tourism model. We will stop measuring the success of the Spanish tourism model exclusively by the increase in the number of tourists – we must now go beyond and focus on quality, profitability, innovation and sustainability, as well as on the social inclusion and territorial cohesion. this challenge. And we must all work together – institutions and the private sector – strengthening our alliances and involving other partners so that the Spanish tourism sector maintains its international leadership.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili added: “The future of tourism will be driven by new ideas, new business methods and joint solutions to overcome challenges and realize the enormous potential of our sector. UNWTO has warmly welcomed the creation of a new Tourism Innovation Center and looks forward to working closely with Mastercard to harness the power of data and creativity to build a more inclusive and sustainable industry.

The Tourism Innovation Hub will act as a global platform for industry research, the development of tourism strategies and the co-creation of bespoke products and solutions, through partnerships and initiatives such as:

  • Thought Leadership: leverage data insights and capture target consumer insights to identify trends and inform policy decision-making.
  • Development Center: co-create new products and services, codify best practices and serve as a platform to bring together public and private sector partners to innovate together.
  • Laboratories as a service: design, develop and test new products and platforms that deliver digital-first, sustainable and inclusive industry solutions that address shared business and consumer priorities.

Supporting the global tourism industry

Mastercard’s trusted network and cutting-edge technology are at the heart of the global tourism industry:

  • Facilitate payments so tourists can spend safely, securely and easily when traveling abroad
  • Enable acceptance of digital payments for small businesses to enable them to benefit from the tourism economy
  • Work with travel agents, airlines, hotel providers and many more across the ecosystem
  • Build loyalty through engagement programs and invaluable experiences, providing tourists with personalized access to the best and most exciting opportunities when exploring or returning to their favorite destinations
  • Partner with tourism agencies to support businesses in the tourism sector and encourage inbound tourism through digital vouchers and incentive programs
  • Provide information to governments and tourism agencies to identify trends and inform strategies, including through Mastercard Economics Institute analysis reports, as well as to execute inbound tourism campaigns.

Sustainable tourism will be a key focus, and there will be close collaboration between the Tourism Innovation Center and Mastercard’s Sustainable Innovation Lab, to help governments, businesses and consumers transform the way they adapt. and create new sustainable tourism innovations in destination, travel, accommodation. , experience, rewards and incentives and other services.

At the same time, Mastercard is working with UNWTO, headquartered in Madrid, through a series of initiatives. For example, last year the company supported the UNWTO Global SDG Startup Competition, providing mentorship to innovative small businesses that are enabling sustainable and responsible tourism around the world.

In Spain, Mastercard has a well-established track record of supporting the tourism industry, as part of broader work with governments and cities around the world to adapt their tourism strategies. In 2020, Mastercard’s data intelligence tools helped the town halls of Madrid and Barcelona identify the impact on the flow of tourists, helping them develop a roadmap to relaunch post-pandemic tourism. Additionally, in May last year, in collaboration with Turespaña, Mastercard announced the first Safety Perception Index, which measures the level of visitor confidence in health measures in Spain.

The Tourism Innovation Center is part of Mastercard’s network of global Centers of Excellence around the world, including the Intelligence and Cyber ​​Center in Canada, the Fintech-Cyber ​​Innovation Lab in Israel, the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Kenya and the Sustainability Innovation Lab in Sweden, as well as Tech Hubs in Dublin and New York.

About Mastercard

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside our company. With connections in more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks invaluable opportunity for all.

1 “Economic impact of travel and tourism 2021.” World Travel & Tourism Council, June 2021.

2 “UNWTO World Tourism Barometer”. UNWTO, November 2021

3 “Recovery Insights: Ready for take-off?” Mastercard Economics Institute, June 2021.

4 “Recovery Insights: Going Digital.” Mastercard Economics Institute, June 2020.

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CONTACT: Media contact

Jim Issokson

Communicating Europe

[email protected]rd.comAna Díaz Sacristán

Communication Spain

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SOURCE: Mastercard Investor Relations

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PUBLISHED: 01/20/2022 07:39/DISC: 01/20/2022 07:40

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