The power of data is the power to obtain information that supports and improves decision-making. For European tourism stakeholders facing strategic and operational challenges amidst recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to make decisions based on reliable data has never been stronger. Besides, access to the right information could support tourism businesses in improving their competitive position within the global marketplace while fulfilling the obligations of the European Green Deal (European Green Deal).

While data are now everywhere, generated from diverse sources at unimaginable speed, they are often fragmented, in different formats, and often difficult to access when needed most. To harness the full potential of data, the European Commission has outlined the European Data Strategy (European Data Strategy), envisaging a single market where data flow across sectors within the EU for the benefit of society. Data Space for Tourism (DSFT) is only one part of this marketplace that shall enable all sector stakeholder groups (e.g., SMEs, governmental agencies, technology firms, and tourism entities at the national, regional, and local scales of operation) to share and access the data they require when they need it. Furthermore, DSFT shall also address the challenge of data interoperability, not only within tourism but throughout the EU and across sectors.

Project Timeline

Within the next 12 months, Modul University Vienna, City Destinations Alliance, European Travel Commission and Forward Keys endeavour to design a roadmap that will guide the creation of the future Data Space for Tourism (DSFT). To achieve this ambitious goal, the consortium will create a Tourism Data Inventory (TDI) that provides an overview of available tourism data sources and platforms and enables the identification of gaps between the demand for and availability of data.

Throughout the initiative, multi-stakeholder governance mechanism, data-sharing business models and technical specifications will be put in place. Those will help to ensure the DSFT is adequately maintained, easy to use and that it can be fitted into the broader framework of European Data Space. For this reason, the consortium will collaborate closely with the EU Data Space Support Centre to ensure that the interoperability requirements of the DSFT are met. The project’s output will represent a detailed blueprint for the DSFT complemented by a roadmap for its deployment in line with national initiatives and the European Data Strategy.

The activities under this project will pave the way for the actual deployment of the DSFT. Providing increased access to information throughout the European tourism ecosystem will substantially increase productivity, sustainability, innovation, and upskilling within the tourism sector. The shared data space can be an excellent tool for combating the economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing the industry’s resilience in uncertain times.

Ideally, the DSFT will become a model for other sectors and lead to the eventual single market for data that increases the competitiveness of the EU and the overall quality of life for its citizens. There are also clear synergies with other EU projects, which would build upon access to the DSFT.

This project would also contribute to the long-term policy objectives of the European Green Deal. Priority will be given to technical solutions that are environmentally responsible and energy-efficient, such as cloud-to-edge systems. Furthermore, the DSFT will enable the attainment of Green Deal sustainability goals through distance monitoring of environmental indicators (e.g., air and water pollution).

Project Objectives

This project will pave the way for the future deployment of the DSFT that will allow for increased access to data for all tourism sector stakeholders across the EU. By providing access to information throughout the European tourism ecosystem, there will be substantial increases in productivity, sustainability, innovation, and upskilling within the sector.

The DSFT shall become a great tool for increasing the resiliency of the tourism sector and the preparedness for future, unknown challenges. The consortium hopes to establish standards for data interoperability by providing the foundation for an open platform upon which to build state-of-the-art AI applications. Furthermore, environmentally responsible and energy-efficient technical solutions to support the attainment of the European Green Deal sustainability goals will be prioritised.

To reach these ambitious goals, the team set out four main objectives:

1. Create Tourism Data Inventory

Tourism Data Inventory will be an open-access tool for the tourism sector, showing what data are currently available, if they are maintained by governments and non-governmental agencies (i.e., open-access data and statistics) or by the private sector (e.g., transportation, accommodation, and telecommunication providers). Through TDI, the data will become easily accessible to key tourism stakeholders, including SMEs, which shall increase the competitiveness of European tourism by aligning providers with the expectations and wishes of their customers.

2. Establish Governance Mechanisms for the Future DSFT

DSFT cannot be successful if it is not based on clear, fair and sustainable, multi-stakeholder governance mechanisms and data sharing business models ensuring legal certainty. Through a participative approach, the consortium endeavours to better understand the needs and requirements of a broad base of stakeholders as well as to mitigate potential risks and uncertainties preventing especially private tourism stakeholders from sharing data.

3. Plan an Interoperable DSFT

DSFT will be a part of a wider European Data Strategy. For this reason, the consortium needs to develop technical solutions ensuring the interoperability of tourism-related data to foster a free flow of data within the EU and across sectors. In cooperation with the Data Spaces Support Centre (DSSC) and the Alliance for Industrial Data, Cloud, and Edge (AIDCE), the consortium will ensure that DSFT is compatible with EU-wide data environment. Additionally, all design recommendations for the DSFT will consider the data structure and quality necessary for future Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications.

4. Create the DSFT blueprint

All the previous goals will result in a detailed plan for the design and deployment of the DSFT, bringing together the tourism data set priorities, requisite technical specifications, governance models and business, ensuring that the various needs of the multiple stakeholders of tourism sector are met in practical, fair, and transparent fashion.

Project Work Packages

Creation and Analysis of the Tourism Data Inventory

as the DSFT will be utilized by a wide variety of stakeholder groups, it is thus vital to understand their specific requirements concerning information needs, usage patterns, platforms currently used, etc. All consortium partners will use their expertise and extensive membership networks to promote the DSFT project and invite stakeholder organisations to opt-in to future participatory activities related to the project (i.e., online questionnaires and in-person workshops), to achieve as representative results as possible.

consortium researchers will identify and classify as many relevant data sources as possible. Importantly, the inventory will include cross-sectoral data such as the publicly accessible data from the cultural heritage, environmental, meteorological, and geospatial thematic areas. An online database will be created to store the information of each tourism relevant data source and will become the foundation for the final TDI.

the TDI will be supplementing by soliciting DSFT stakeholders to identify the data spaces that they are aware of and/or utilize in their operations through an online questionnaire. This participatory approach will enhance the TDI by adding previously unknown data sets to the inventory and triangulating the usage, relevance, and value of each data set.

an open-access online report (include link to Tourism Data Inventory) summarizing the current tourism data space and data ecosystem of tourism will be centered around the information needed by different DSFT stakeholder groups and the data sources currently available to obtain such information as well as the perceived cost-performance ratios of different data sets. The report will identify viable data themes, data gaps and overlaps.

Sustainable DSFT

Governance models for DSFT must align with the values of the EU and meet the needs of all relevant tourism stakeholders. The Consortium will thus undertake two qualitative data collections to understand how to best foster a “culture of data sharing in tourism” required for a sustainable DSFT.

since there is no universal governance approach towards data sharing, workshop participants selected from the tourism stakeholder sampling frame, shall identify data governance issues and solutions from the perspectives of multiple stakeholder groups. Four separate workshops held in a different region of Europe will help to capture regional heterogeneity and avoid bias. To make the communication between various stakeholder groups more effective, a Lego® Serious Play® (LSP) methodology will be utilised.

will be used by the project team to obtain additional insights into DSFT sustainability requirements, and to verify the veracity of the ideas generated in the workshops. Thirty participants identified from the Tourism Stakeholder Sampling Frame will be included in the study using online questionnaires. This analysis will provide rankings regarding shared data priorities, barriers, and incentives to data share, preferred technical specifications for a DSFT, and ideal DSFT business and governance models.

in a non-technical whitepaper for EU policymakers, data providers, and tourism stakeholders, solutions that address the specific needs of the tourism sector, while also remaining within the framework of a single data market in Europe will be detailed.

Technical and Regulatory Specifications of DSFT

Providing technical specifications supporting data interoperability within and across sectors (both public and private) as well as specifications for content and metadata, building where applicable on existing domain-specific models for structured and semantic databases, are an integral part of this project.

for successful implementation of DSFT, technical issues connected with data access, edge computing etc. need to be solved, keeping in mind the European Interoperability Architecture (EIRA) metamodel and its building blocks.

simultaneous effort will be undertaken to review and catalogue all relevant EU policy, regulatory frameworks, new initiatives, and Codes of Conduct to identify the regulatory constraints that must be embodied into the technical solution options. Importantly, the review will also identify the pipeline of EU, national and regional initiatives to ensure that the data space is compatible with planned future investments, such as the EU data space for cultural heritage, data space for smart communities, and an AI on-demand platform.

Coordination with these agencies will ensure that open-source priority and all other EDSTF requirements of the DSFT are met. Liaisons will have a key role in making available to the consortium the blueprint architectures and data infrastructure requirements (e.g., technical design, functionality, operation and governance, and legal/ethical considerations) for the DSFT, as well as recommending appropriate technologies, processes, standards, and tools.

in the open access technical report, the ideal specifications of the DSFT system will be described, including all the building blocks together with the standards and the technical details. All options will be presented in an objective manner and evaluate them across several dimensions including cost, ease of implementation, and usability.

DSFT Design Evaluation, Blueprint, and Roadmap

In the final participatory approach, the project team will once again engage with tourism stakeholders and evaluate DSFT design options, including technical specifications, data themes, business models, and governance models that have been previously identified, to arrive at the final recommendations for the DSFT roadmap that will be published as an open-access report.

conjoint analysis will assess the desirability of different DSFT design option combinations. Reactions of 400 users to the feasible data themes, business models, governance models, and technical specifications will be evaluated to determine the most desirable combination of characteristics for the DSFT system and the relative importance of DSFT attributes.

in an open-access report, the consortium will describe in detail the recommendations for a DSFT blueprint, based on the objective and empirical evidence obtained over the course of the project. Based on the engagement with tourism stakeholders throughout all phases of the project, the final report will prescribe a step-by-step roadmap for deploying the DSFT that is grounded in a bottom-up approach to system design. The final blueprint and road map will include a monitoring and evaluation scheme to assess the impact of the DSFT and to determine effectiveness in accomplishing long-term objectives.

Project Calendar

February 2023

First major part of the project shall be completed with the TDI published online

April 2023

Focus group meetings and analysis of needs and wants of tourism stakeholders the shall be completed
Technical requirements and legal regulations for DSFT will be reviewed

July 2023

Requirements for the DSFT will be finalised

September 2023

Final design of the DSFT will be tested and evaluated

October 2023

DSFT blueprint and roadmap for its implementation will be completed

Meet the Project Partners

ForwardKeys (FK) is the financial coordinator of the project, a leading data provider for the tourism industry which brings in technical expertise and knowledge in data analytics and information systems. FK is in partnership with numerous data holders and additionally provides immediate and direct access to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders to information such as insights relevant to shared tourism data space.


Modul University Vienna (MU), technical coordinator of the project is an international university for business and economics, with a strong research focus on international management, service-related industries, tourism, sustainability, data science, and the design of information systems. MU has a long tradition in tourism research utilizing advanced qualitative and quantitative methodologies and has established the TourMIS system, where all European national tourism organisations input data and exchange knowledge.


The European Travel Commission (ETC) represents the national tourism organisations of Europe. Established in 1948, ETC’s mission is to strengthen the sustainable development of Europe as a tourist destination and to promote Europe in third markets. Its 35-member tourism boards work together to build the value of tourism for all the diverse European destinations through cooperation in sharing best practice, market intelligence and promotion.


City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA) is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of the leading cities of Europe. CityDNA provides a platform for Leisure, Meetings Industry and City Marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, and best practices and widen their network to inspire, co-develop and promote a sustainable visitor economy for each member city.



To be successful in developing the blueprint for DSFT and to mitigate any potential risks to data sharing, the consortium shall invite and consider the needs and requirements of a broad base of stakeholders including, but not limited to private tourism enterprises, private association representing tourism stakeholders, public administrations or governmental bodies managing tourism, public-private partnership organisations in tourism, local, regional, or national government authorities, academia and research institutes, etc.  

If you are interested in supporting the DSFT and participating in any of the consultation activities, please complete this form.

Below are the planned activities where you could involve and share your opinions regarding the DSFT. each activity is voluntary, and involvement in one activity does not commit you to participate in other activities.

  • An online survey in January 2023. The survey will collect information on the types of data sources/spaces experts are aware of and use in their daily operations. It will also look into the data types that are currently inaccessible but desired. All interested parties will have the opportunity to participate in this online study.
  • Inperson workshops. Four workshops involving different experts will take place across Europe in spring 2023. Topics for discussion will include but are not limited to the business and governance models of the DSFT, barriers and incentives for sharing data on the DSFT, priorities for the DSFT, etc. For in-person participation, economic support of a maximum of 500€ is provided to cover travel costs. The project consortium will hand-select workshop participants to ensure a representative and diverse collection of tourism stakeholders. 
  • An online Delphi survey in spring 2023. The multi-stage Delphi process will refine the business and governance model of the DSFT, barriers and incentives for sharing data on the DSFT, priorities for the DSFT, etc. The project consortium will hand-select online Delphi participants to ensure a representative and diverse collection of tourism stakeholders.
  • An online survey in summer 2023. An online questionnaire and choice experiment will be conducted to evaluate the ideal combination of DSFT technical features, business models, and governance solutions. All interested parties will have the opportunity to participate in this online study.

Stakeholders who indicated interest in participating in the consultation process can involve in one or more activities (see the previous questions). Each activity is voluntary, and involvement in one activity does not commit you to participate in other activities.



The European Commission has awarded two consortia to work on the preparatory actions for the Data Space for Tourism (DSFT). One of the consortia is led by Modul University (DSFT), and the other is led by AnySolution (DATES project). The two consortia follow different approaches but will cooperate later on to create the best possible blueprint for data space for tourism.


Do you have any questions, suggestions, or would you like to contribute something to designing the data space for tourism?

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