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European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism

GIJÓN – 2023 Shortlisted City

Gijón (Xixón in Asturian) is located in the north of Spain in the Principality of Asturias, in the centre of the Asturian coast.

Accessibility at the core of policymaking

From the improvement of tourist signposting on both urban and rural routes, to the creation of urban routes using apps based on augmented reality, Gijón has committed to accessibility in several ways. The Integral Plan for Safe, Sustainable Mobility (PIMSS) 2018-2024 of Gijón is part of a legislative package that seeks to promote road safety and user-friendly transport. The plan contemplates a parking blueprint for people with reduced mobility, the creation of a network of accessible and functional pedestrian routes, and the creation of the Municipal Office for Sustainable Mobility and Urban Accessibility (OMMS). In addition to the Municipal Accessibility Committee, Gijón Tourism Office actively collaborates with specialised entities such as PREDIF, ADAPA or COCEMFE ASTURIAS to foment the creation of accessible tourism products and services, and offers online accessibility resources on the Gijón Turismo website and the Tur4all application. The city has also taken steps towards social inclusion by means of solidarity campaigns in which used computers were collected to be refurbished and later donated to students, to reduce the social and technological gap during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Gijón 1.


Pioneers in digital governance and public services

Gijón is a very advanced destination in terms of the use of new technologies to improve governance and innovation. Within the framework strategy "Integrated City Hall - City Management", an Internet of Things (IoT) neutral communications network is being deployed, which includes communication and control points in the network of public lights, an IoT network management system and a local platform. For interoperability checks between devices manufactured by different companies, the city has set up the Gijón DemoLAB, a space where companies can test the compatibility of their IoT technology with the city's network. Citizens can benefit greatly through Gijón Conecta Project, an initiative that allows the inhabitants of Gijón to interact with public services via mobile phones. They can reach the regulation of public lighting, the management of the irrigation system, road safety, parking spaces for people with reduced mobility, the recharging of electric vehicles, and the monitoring of environmental noise levels.

Gijón 2.


A Gold certified sustainable destination

Gijón is a destination concerned about sustainability, and strives, together with the private sector, to meet the challenges involved in responsible tourism. Gijón promotes local culture and sustainable craftsmanship through the Organic Artisan Market, the local reference point for crafts, gastronomy, and tourism. The market was declared an Activity of Tourist Interest in the Principality of Asturias in 2018 and received international sustainability recognition. Thanks to the involvement of the private sector in the application of good sustainable practices, in 2019 Gijón was awarded "Biosphere Gold Destination" certification, a credential granted by the Responsible Tourism Institute associated with UNESCO to destinations committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. The Biosphere sustainability management and certification system has been recognized as the best sustainability certification tool in the world, and Gijón has successfully renovated its Biosphere certification in 2022. Gijón also encourages travel philanthropy by involving tourists in volunteering activities for sustainable and inclusive purposes such as coastal clean-ups, as well as solidarity visit campaigns.

Gijón 3.


Showcasing the city from 12 perspectives

The 2021-24 Gijón Marketing Plan sets out cultural tourism as one of the key target segments. Gijón offers a large network of public and private museums, a wide range of events and has streets lined with “Art Nouveau” architecture. The Culrutas brochure, available on the City Council website or in tourist offices, offers different routes to discover the city and its secrets. Visitors can choose between twelve itineraries with different perspectives such as literature, film, art, history, and feminism. All of them do have the historical and cultural heritage of the town of Jovellanos in common. For those who would like more information, a QR code links to the municipal website for more information.