Smart Tourism initiative
Under the umbrella of Smart Tourism, the European Commission has launched two competitions to promote smart and sustainable tourism in the EU, network and strengthen destinations, and facilitate the exchange of best practices.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity.
The European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism, successor of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition, rewards smaller destinations that have implemented successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.
Smart Tourism is an EU initiative implemented by the European Commission. Currently it is financed under the COSME Programme and it is a successor of the Preparatory Action proposed by the European Parliament. The initiative aims to:
Promote the rich tourism offer of European countries and increase citizens’ sentiment of sharing local tourism-related values.
Strengthen tourism-generated and innovative tourism development in the cities, their surroundings and their neighbour regions.
Increase the attractiveness of European cities that are awarded the title and strengthen economic growth and job creation.
Establish framework for the exchange of best practices between the cities and create opportunities for cooperation and new partnerships.
Inform the travellers of the sustainable and outstanding tourism practices in destinations they are visiting.
Encourage sustainable socio-economic development in tourism destinations across Europe.
Watch here the European Capital of Smart Tourism video
Watch here the Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism video
Spotlight on the 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism
Pafos (Cyprus) and Seville (Spain) are the 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism.
Promoting innovation in European smart destinations
The 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism and the 2024 European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism reward bigger and smaller European cities for outstanding, innovative and sustainable tourism practices.
Our aim is to promote innovation to strengthen smart and sustainable destinations in Europe, to enhance tourism offers for visitors and to facilitate new partnerships, networking and the exchange of best practice. We also aim to foster the EU’s forward-thinking tourism offer to global audiences and sustainably increase footfall at pioneering destinations that offer unique visitor experiences.
The initiative is managed by the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. It is supported by the COSME programme and results from a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament.
This initiative complements other EU actions and policy initiatives in the tourism field.