SMARTOURISM is a visual service for weather and Touristic Comfort indices forecasts using Artificial Intelligence techniques with minimal requirement of meteorological in-situ data, funded by the Intelligent Specialization program of the Region of Crete and carried out by the Coastal & Marine Research Lab (CMRL, https://crl.iacm.forth.gr/en/) of FORTH, which accurately predicts climatic variables and multiple comfort indices, created towards summertime beach holidays, to assist in day-to-day tourist activities scheduling, holiday planning and destination selection for tourists, as well as touristic season scheduling of Hotel Managers.
The innovation lies in being able to predict, with minimum uncertainty, chaotic variables and usually depend on expensive and complex flow models, based on a combination of accurate measurements of our MS and robust AI techniques. The service, in addition to temperature, humidity, rain, cloud coverage, wind speed and direction, UV forecasts, also provides forecasts for 2 tourist comfort indices based on climate. TCI (Tourist Climate Index) scales how comfortable tourists feel and provides daily guidance to pursue or avoid beach activities according to comfort levels. HCI (Holiday Climate Index: Beach specification) assesses the human comfort level, including a wide range of summertime activities, based on climatic conditions. The latter takes into account climatic preferences, not only about beach-related activities strongly relying on temperature (like the TCI), but for a wider range of tourists’ interests. HCI and its yearly/long-term behavior is a handy tool for vacation planning (destination and time period) since its environmental variables weighting system is based on real-life responses by tourists. The visualization, as shown, is also color-coded for its easier comprehension without requiring scientific knowledge.
Additionally, it provides a Sea State forecast for the beach of the hotel, utilizing the wind prediction from the MS, based on the JOHNSWAP method. The platform supporting the visual service is also compatible with advanced forecasting systems like the COASTAL CRETE of CMRL (funded by Copernicus marine services). COASTAL CRETE is an operational high-resolution forecasting service for Crete freely available to users. It is currently under integration in the EE’s Digital Twin of the Ocean (DITTO), which is created by the Horizon/Green deal project ILIAD to which CMRL is a prime partner, as the DITTO of Crete Island
The idea of creating a service in a user-friendly visual form, that would provide forecasts for crucial meteorological variables, sea conditions and tourist comfort indices to support scheduling in short and long time perspectives of activities related to the safe use of the beach was shaped after fruitful and thorough discussions with tourism operators and managers which shared his life-long expert’s knowledge on the requirements and to-do’s for improving comfort, safety and euphoria of tourists.
The online demos can be reached in the following links Heraklion Port: http://126.96.36.199:2222/ and Gouves Amirandes Grecotel: http://188.8.131.52:4712/
SMARTOURISM was funded by the Operational Program CRETE (EFRD-28) Action 1.b.1: Demonstration and experimental development projects that foster research and innovation in sectors of RIS3Crete, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and National Funds.