TEQUILA: A Smart Tourism Destination

TEQUILA: A Smart Tourism Destination

Promotes accessibility for all, facilitates the interaction and integration of visitors with the environment and increases the quality of their experience in the destination and improves the quality of life of residents

What it is: An innovative tourist destination, consolidated on a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, that guarantees the sustainable development of the tourism territory, that promotes accessibility for all, that facilitates the interaction and integration of visitors with the environment and increases the quality of their experience in the destination and improves the quality of life of residents.

What it seeks: Competitiveness.

What it achieves: The implementation of a pioneering methodology that focuses on incorporating new technologies and innovation in work processes, always at the service of the objectives of sustainability and accessibility in a governance model that seeks efficiency, transparency and participation.

Why Tequila decided to follow the strategy to become Smart?

  • Transformation from industrial town to tourist destination.
  • From 18,000 tourists in 2003 to 450,00 in 2019.
  • Ratio of 15 tourists per resident.
  • Sophistication of local and international demand.
  • Need to sophisticated services for tourists and residents.
  • Thinking holistically.
  • Achieve governance.
  • To order territorially.
  • To manage the Destination.
  • To size the problems.
  • To evaluate solutions.
  • To achieve impacts.
  • To have a proven and validated methodology.

Challenges and key decisionsPrioritize based on the logic of the city

  • Raise awareness in the public sector and sensitize residents
  • Show that there were immediate benefits
  • Adapt solutions to scale
  • Manage interoperability and technological obsolescence
  • Think systemically like Think Tank
  • Go from dealing with issues to managing issues
  • Make quick decisions based on real-time information
  • Manage interactions of the system and its components
  • Achieve economic sustainability.

Tequila was very well positioned to internalise these kind of transformations. Tequila has different recognitions such as i) The First Smart Tourism Destination in Mexico and Latin America; ii) Leader in Sustainable Tourism and Health Safety; iii) Its main tourism companies have sized, mitigated and certified their carbon footprint having reached neutrality; iv) The Agave Landscape has been recognised by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity and v) it is in the Tequila Designation of Origin. It also has the Council for the Integral Development of Tequila (CODIT) as a governance tool.

¿What is the next great challenge that may arise?

Carbon neutrality in complexity.

Tequila is embedded in an agave ecosystem and biodiversity in its natural areas. It is also a hot city with deficient urban forestation. Since tequila is produced under a Denomination of Origin, it is necessary to vertically integrate the tequila companies, as the raw material is only sourced in that geographical area, so the territory plays a key role. Another of the main elements of the tequila industry is water, which is why it is necessary to take care of watercourses, not to dump industrial waste into rivers, and to have very demanding regulations. Under circular economy concepts, agave waste is returned to the soil as compost and converted into energy in the industrial process. Agaves on the other hand are "sleeping assets", they are carbon sequestrators, they help mitigate the footprint and carbon credits can be traded on voluntary markets.

The carbon neutrality of the city has therefore an important partner in the territory.

The neutrality system would be designed holistically, with measurements at all levels of the footprint, in infrastructure, in transport, in the entire tequila marketing chain from the field to the exported product, in commercial and industrial facilities, mitigating the footprint either by seeking energy efficiency such as offsetting the footprint via solar panels, energy reuse, carbon credits, measuring air pollution, calculating the carrying capacity of the destination. Thus, Tequila could be a carbon neutral city by 2030.


Federico de Arteaga
Federico de Arteaga

Master en Dirección y Administración de Empresas (MBA) por la Universidad Católica de Uruguay y PhD en Responsabilidad Social, Innovación y Sostenibilidad por la Universidad Anáhuac, líder del Proyecto Tequila.

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