The CETT Alimara Barcelona Awards recognize the 12 most innovative tourism, hospitality, and gastronomy industries.
The awards honored the commitment of companies and individuals to innovation, digitization, sustainability, and applied research
Out of competition, the CETT Alimara Barcelona Awards recognize TV3 program '30 minuts', Damm, the Federació Intercomarcal d'Hostaleria, Restauració i Turisme (FHIRT) and the Associació Catalana d'Agències de Viatges Especialitzades (ACAVe), among others
The Alimara Night hosted the 36th edition of the Alimara CETT Barcelona Awards, organized by CETT, a leading higher education center for tourism, hospitality, and gastronomy affiliated to the University of Barcelona, with the support of the B-Travel Tourism Fair and Fira de Barcelona. This year the awards have rewarded ten products, services, strategies, or actions that have provided an innovative vision in experiences, digitization, sustainability, and research applied to tourism, hospitality, and gastronomy sectors.
The event, initiated by Mr. Miquel Alsius, president of CETT, was hosted by journalist Josep Puigbó and was also attended by Mr. Ion Vilcu, director of the Department of Affiliate Members of the World Tourism Organization. He presented the first Alimara Award for sustainability. Vilcu explained that the return of events such as the Alimara Awards help send a message of optimism and sign the industry's willingness to restore dynamism and confidence. In addition, he made reference to the diversity of the proposals presented to the Awards and confirmed: "it is extremely encouraging to see that, in the face of the challenge of the crisis, research and development, the private sector and the academia have turned a crisis into an opportunity and are surprising us with their innovative initiatives."
The 2020 edition could not be held due to COVID-19. In its 36th edition, the Alimara Awards were celebrated yesterday in a hybrid format at the Hotel Alimara Barcelona. We wanted to recognize the dedication, perseverance, and innovative spirit of those people, organizations, or destinations in the sector that have contributed to keeping alive the hope of a steady yet solid and sustainable recovery.
This year, more than 100 applications were received, and 18 awards have been given. In total, twelve awards were given in the competition categories. The Alimara Mass Media Award was given to a media outlet. In addition, two CETT Special Awards were given to leading industry organizations. Besides, two other awards were presented: the Alimara CAT Award, proposed by the jury and the General Directorate of Linguistic Policy and the General Directorate of Tourism of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the CETT Students Alimara Award, voted by CETT students from among the jury's proposals. On the other hand, the CETT Foundation proposed the award of Els 3 Pioners.
CETT Alimara Through Experiences Award
Presented by Ms. Maria Rosa Alarcón Montañés, councilor of the Horta-Guinardó district, Mr. Antoni Cañete Martos, president of PIMEC, and Ms. Elisabet Ferrer Fernández, manager of CETT, the Through Experiences awards reward the following campaigns because of their ability to give an inspiring, emotional and motivational experience to the users:
'Looks Like You Need to Let It Out,' the campaign of Business Iceland, for its ability to link and connect users during the lockdown and establish an emotional bond through the dream of the next trip. CETT students have agreed with the jury and granted this campaign with the CETT Students Alimara Award.
The experiential campaign by Casa Vicens 'The essences of Casa Vicens', has been recognized for its ability to create a unique experience that unites architecture, art, and heritage with the aim of awakening the sensory range of visitors while enhancing the link with its environment, the neighborhood of Gràcia.
The 'Work from Barcelona' campaign by Turisme de Barcelona focused on promoting Barcelona as an attractive destination for businesses and professionals who come to the city to work and live temporarily.
CETT Alimara Through Digitalisation Award
Ms. Marta Serra Peruchet, director of the B-Travel Fair, Mr. Francesc Vila Albet, manager of Tourism Services of Barcelona for the Diputació de Barcelona and Mr. David Peguero Manzanares, Director of Corporate Development of CETT awarded with the three CETT Alimara Awards the following projects because of their commitment to the application of technology and digital tools to improve the user experience:
The Catalan Board of Tourism was awarded for its 'StarTechTourChallenge' initiative, which seeks to boost tourism in tourism from the public sector to identify talent, new ideas, and projects to face the industry's challenges.
Wheel the World's digital platform was awarded one of the prizes for meeting the challenge of accessibility for people with disabilities, bringing together the necessary and most helpful information for this community, and promoting tourism for everyone.
The tourism intelligence platform of Mabrian Technology, which, through big data, offers knowledge and a global vision of the behavior of visitors to a destination.
CETT Alimara Through Sustainability Award
The three Alimara Awards in this category recognize the commitment of organizations to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Mr. Ion Vilcu, director of the Department of Affiliate Members of the World Tourism Organization, Mr. Fabián Mohedano Morales, president of the Catalan Council of Vocational Training and Mr. Miquel Alsius Juriol, president of CETT, rewarded the following projects:
Hoteles con todos incluidos, from Ilunion Hotels, for its work promoting the labor integration of people with disabilities and accessible tourism, for its link with the Sustainable Development Goals and the consolidation of a social, environmental, sustainable, economic, and transforming the business model of the territories where established.
The project 'Taste the Altitude' by Eiger Consulting stood out for its determination to bring together the specific territorial production of the mountain areas, placing value on culture and territory and at the same time promoting ecotourism. Furthermore, through personal experiences, the initiative gives visibility to the vulnerable and territorially-rooted business network.
'Seeds for a better world' the Deltaic project received the Alimara Award for being a responsible tourism project, closely linked to the Deltebre area and inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals.
CETT Alimara Through Research Award
The Alimara Awards have honored research for the first time, recognizing the applied research that contributes to respond to the challenges faced by the industry. The awards were presented by Dr. Joan Guàrdia Olmos, Chancellor of the University of Barcelona, Ms. Eva Menor Cantador, President of the Local Economic Development Area of the Diputació de Barcelona and Mr. José Antonio Pérez-Aranda Canela, Director of the CETT-UB University School.
The jury recognized TURCOLAB, a research project focused on analyzing collaborative accommodation platforms in Spanish destinations based on the content generated by users and other online sources.
The Alimaras also awarded Juan Luis Nicolau, Researcher at Virginia Tech University (USA), for his project focused on expanding the theoretical and practical knowledge of the behavioral patterns followed by tourists in the purchase decision process. This can be of great interest to the agents of the sector in the current context.
'The Low Harm Hedonism Initiative' from the University of Queensland (Australia) was awarded for challenging conventional theories of human behavior regarding promoting environmental actions. It is also a project that facilitates the transfer of knowledge to non-scientific audiences.
Afterward, the deputy delegate of Tourism of the Diputació de Barcelona, Ms. Abigail Garrido, thanked the Alimara Awards on behalf of the winners and highlighted, "the awards are benchmarks in the tourism industry just like CETT, with its long history of commitment to training professionals in the sector." Garrido also emphasized the importance of professionalism in tourism management.
Alimara CAT Award
The Alimara CAT Award (handed out jointly with the General Directorate of Linguistic Policy and the General Directorate of Tourism of the Generalitat de Catalunya) distinguished Estrella Damm for its campaign Compromís III because of its linguistic excellence in all channels and media used and for its commitment to sustainability by raising awareness of the threats to the Mediterranean Sea, something that is directly related to their business activity. The award was presented by Ms. Montserrat Nadal Milà, head of the Service for promoting Catalan language of the General Directorate of Language Policy, and Ms. Nan Ferreres Montoliu, director of CETT Professional Technical School.
Alimara Mass Media and Alimara Special CETT Awards
Mr. Eduard Torres Guals, president of the Executive Committee of Tourism of Barcelona, and Ms. Carme Cassà Bausa, CETT's director of Marketing and Institutional Relations, presented the Alimara Mass Media Award, proposed by the jury. It was given to TV3's 30 minutes program titled "Without tourism." The TV report analyzes the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector. In addition, it collects testimonies that encourage reflection on the challenges of present-day tourism and point at reinvention to be more sustainable all over the Catalan territory.
Exceptionally this year, two Special Awards have been given to value the continuous efforts made by the sector's agents in recent months and due to the cancellation of the 2020 awards because of the pandemic. Dr. Maria Abellanet Meya, CEO of the CETT, delivered, accompanied by Albert Castellanos, general secretary of Enterprise and Competitiveness of the Conselleria d'Empresa i Treball de la Generalitat de Catalunya, one of the awards to the Federació Intercomarcal d'Hostaleria, Restauració i Turisme (FIHRT) for the support given to other associations and agents of the sector since the beginning of the pandemic, establishing synergies with PIMEC.
Dr. Abellanet presented the second Special Award with Mr. Francesc Xavier Marcé, Councilor for Tourism and Creative Industries of Barcelona City Council, to the Catalan Association of Travel Agencies (ACAVe) for being essential support to travel agencies during the pandemic and for claiming and valuing tourism as a critical activity for the economy and society.
Award "Els 3 Pioners" (The 3 pioneers) of the CETT Foundation
CETT Foundation, jointly with Jordi Comas Matamala and Climent Guitart Foundations, presented the "The 3 Pioneers" award, which recognizes individuals or institutions that have contributed to the development and improvement of tourism in Catalonia. This year, it has recognized the personality of Mr. Joan Gaspart for his decisive contribution to the positive development of tourism in Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain.
He received the award from Mr. Narcís Coll Ferrer, president and patron of CETT Foundation, accompanied by Ms. Carme Hospital Poch, President of the Jordi Comas Matamala Foundation.
After the presentation of the awards, the Chancellor of the University of Barcelona, Dr. Joan Guàrdia Olmos, said, "for the University of Barcelona, CETT is not only a flagship, but it is also the way we have found to show our university's willingness to be part of research and tourism." He also assured the Alimara Awards are a benchmark in tourism and the development of the industry and the city. He added that the University of Barcelona wants to be by the side of tourism businesses and the industry.
On the other hand, Mr. Albert Castellanos Maduell, Secretary-General for Enterprise and Competitiveness of the Department of Enterprise and Employment of the Generalitat de Catalunya, highlighted the importance of the tourism sector in Catalonia and emphasized the willingness of the local government "to listen to the sector for a rapid recovery." Castellanos explained that in these critical moments for economic recovery, public-private collaboration is essential and mentioned the territorial dialogue between the capital and the rest of Catalonia's destinations as one of the pending issues.
To finish La Nit dels Alimara, Francesc Xavier Marcé referred to the sector's challenges and stressed the need to clearly face them. Marcé added that "we all need tourism to return and to do so in a more responsible and complicit way with the host communities."