Antonio López de Ávila Muñoz
President and CEO
Pioneer in the design and implementation of the “Smart Tourist Destinations” project in Spain, as the first destination worldwide in which it is effectively implemented with double recognition by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO Ulysses Award 2018 for Innovation in Research and Technology) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC Global Champion Award in 2019).
Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UNWTO on Innovation and Technology, has led the Smart Destination Initiative in Spain as President-CEO of SEGITTUR (Ministry of Tourism of Spain) from 2012 to 2017. A leading and very innovative worldwide initiative that is changing the Tourism strategy in the XXI century, based on Sustainability, Innovation, Technology, Accessibility and Governance (UNWTO Ulysses Award 2018 for Innovation in Research and Technology and WTTC Global champion Award 2019).
He has also led the creation of the first Smart Destination Standardization Committee in the world through the Spanish certification body AENOR (www.aenor.es), which has published the UNE178501 Smart Tourist Destinations, first in its category.
Antonio is also an entrepreneur as founding partner of many companies. Due to his entrepreneurial spirit, he also created in 2012 the Spanish Tourism Entrepreneur Network (Red Innpulsa) and the Emprendetur finance program of the Secretary of State of Tourism (which financed around 400 start-ups and companies with more than 80M€).
As scholar, Antonio is Professor of Innovation Management and he was Director of the Travel&Tourism Innovation Initiative at IE University (www.ie.edu) for years.
He earned an Executive MBA from IE Business School and a Bachelor Degree in Law from ULPGC (Spain). He is an international speaker and loves creating and working on disruptive, interdisciplinary, international and intercultural projects.