Corujo: ‘Lanzarote becomes, with this project, an authentic reference on the change of model in tourist trips preparing us for a still uncertain future’

The president of the Cabildo de Lanzarote, María Dolores, Corujo, presented  this morning  a pioneering and innovative pilot project that will place the Island as the first safe tourist destination in the world.

“Let me tell you that there is no other destination that has made an effort comparable to ours,” Corujo commented in the presentation. “I am convinced that Lanzarote becomes, with this project, an authentic reference on the change of model in tourist trips, preparing us for a future that is still uncertain. We cannot fall into the naivety of thinking that in a few months all our problems will have disappeared ”.

“The pandemic will be contained, at least in the first world countries, throughout the summer. It will be contained, but it will not be controlled. There are still too many unknowns. We do not know the maximum protection time of vaccines. We do not know if new inoculations will be needed and the period in which they would have to be applied, if they were necessary, and the risk of new strains resistant to currently existing vaccines persists. Precisely for this reason, when we fully recover mobility, we must have tools that guarantee safety and minimize risks ”.

“We want to place Lanzarote at the forefront as a pioneering safe destination at an international level. Since the beginning of the pandemic we have worked tirelessly to guarantee the tourist markets that Lanzarote is a safe island ”, Corujo concluded  this morning  at the inauguration of the project at the Hotel Meliá Salinas in Costa Teguise, which was also attended by the President of the Government from the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres and the Minister of Tourism Ángel Vázquez.

The project is called ‘Lanzarote Covid Safe’, promoted by Lanzarote Tourism, and in whose development King’s College London, Alastria, IN2 and Continuam participate. It begins  today  with a duration of 4 days, reaching the entity of scientific study carried out by the British university.

The project participants, more than sixty national and international tourists, stay at the Hotel Meliá Salinas and will carry out a complete tourist program that includes a panoramic view of the island, with visits to tourist centers, restaurants, excursions, use of private transport, among others.

For his part, the Minister of Tourism, Ángel Vázquez, stated in the presentation that “initiatives of this type represent an important support to our island tourism industry, while being highly valued by international tourism markets, and by the operators of the sector. , which will undoubtedly recognize Lanzarote’s determined commitment to advance ”.

Travel model.- The challenge facing this project is to test a travel model that includes measures that guarantee the safety of travelers and residents, through the implementation of non-intrusive, simple and effective Covid control and monitoring protocols.

After the conclusion of the Proof of Concept, its upcoming implementation in island tourism is expected. The solution will be presented in the technology area of the International Tourism Fair, FITUR-TECH.

“The Canary Islands are in luck. The opening day of tourism announced alem ton, Danish and Dutch, a project is presented that represents a huge step so that, together with vaccination, tourism will once again be the engine of our future. Congratulations, with a step like this we will soon change the time of crying and tears for smiles ”, said the President of the Canary Islands Government, Ángel Víctor Torres.

Strategic sector.- Tourism accounts for 35% of the Canarian wealth and almost 20% of the tourists who come to the archipelago choose Lanzarote as their destination island. To revive this strategic sector, different institutions sponsored by the Cabildo and Lanzarote Tourism have devised a comprehensive solution that combines scientific research and technology to respond to the needs of the island’s economic activity, while allowing prevention, monitoring and control the probability of contagion.

Safe scientific-health model.- For health aspects, the project has had the collaboration of King’s College London, a scientific institution of great prestige in Europe, which has been working on a research process based on a type of test with high efficiency in detecting the virus. and very simple to use for the user: a non-intrusive saliva PCR, which offers results in a few hours and with a reliability equal to the nasopharyngeal PCR. The model tested in the pilot contemplates the extraction of samples from the people who participate in order to monitor the tourist throughout the entire process. “In highly mobile environments, such as a university or a tourist destination, we have been able to verify that the PCR-Queen test is the test whose biosafety and rapid detection aspects offer maximum reliability. What’s more, as it is not intrusive, it allows it to be carried out easily and regularly, making it ideal for both tourists and industry personnel ”, explained Rocío Martínez, researcher at King’s ollege London. Likewise, the Hotel Meliá Salinas and the collaborating establishments of the pilot have used this protocol among their staff and suppliers as part of the proof of concept.

Blockchai certificates based on technology .-  nonintrusive PCR of saliva are analyzed in laboratories accredited by the health authorities and dumped in a simple application that allow tourists to receive a certificate with the results on their smartphones via a QR code , or consult it on a web page. For the analysis of the samples, we have had the collaboration of Biolab, a partner specialized in Clinical Analysis, Food Safety and Hygiene and the Environment that will be in charge of the analysis of all the samples derived from this pilot.

Being based on blockchain technology, the application is interoperable with the European digital certificate and complies with the standards of the European Commission, in addition to guaranteeing the privacy rights of users. This application has been developed by the company IN2, partner of Alastria.

“This project is the result of public-private collaboration, between the Cabildo and different institutions and companies, which is based on applying to a specific need a scientific and technological solution focused on people and where the guarantee of privacy is possible thanks to the blockchain technology ”, explained  Mar ía Parga, co-founder of Alastria.

Truthful information.- Additionally, the technological tool provides tourists with truthful and contrasted information on the Covid protocols adopted by tourist establishments and services, quickly and easily by scanning a QR code with their mobile phone. This functionality is based on responsible statements made by said establishments, which are registered and traced in the blockchain network of Alastria partners (red-T) and which allows the verification of information on prevention measures against Covid, both by tourists as well as by third parties (administrations, compliance companies, etc.), in an objective and transparent way.

In addition to the Meliá Salinas Hotel and the Biolab laboratory, the Art, Culture and Tourism Centers of the Cabildo de Lanzarote, Iberia Express, the car rental company Cicar and SEUR collaborated in this proof of concept.