Under the umbrella of Smart Tourism, the European Commission launched in May 2023 two competitions for the European Capital and the Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism to promote smart and sustainable tourism in the EU, network and strengthen destinations, and facilitate the exchange of best practices.
European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024 - Smart gets you further
From a pool of 30 candidates spanning 17 countries, the selected finalists for the European Capital of Smart Tourism are in alphabetical order, Bremerhaven (Germany), Cork (Ireland), Dublin (Ireland), Genoa (Italy), Helsingborg (Sweden), and San Sebastián (Spain).
The shortlist for the 2024 finalists now comprises six destinations, instead of the initially mentioned four, due to a tie score. Essen (Germany), Gdynia (Poland), Odense (Denmark), Padua (Italy), and Parma (Italy) are designated as runner-up cities.
The finalists will be invited to present their proposals to a European Jury, tasked with selecting the 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism. The chosen city will receive extensive support in communication and branding. This includes the creation of a promotional video, installation of a hashtag sculpture for public exhibition in the city, and the implementation of tailored promotional campaigns aimed at boosting visibility at both the EU and global levels, ultimately resulting in an increase in the number of visitors.
Starting in 2018, the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition has provided a platform to highlight exceptional practices and achievements. The winners from previous editions include Seville and Pafos (2023), València and Bordeaux (2022), Málaga and Gothenburg (2020), and Helsinki and Lyon (2019). These cities have emerged as exemplary models for smart tourism in Europe, earning prominent international rankings for sustainability, innovation, quality of life, and the effective incorporation of smart strategies.
European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2024 – Green leads the way
The European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism follows the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) competition launched by the European Commission in 2007 to recognise Europe's unconventional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations.
Presented in alphabetical order, Grevena (Greece), Grosseto (Italy), Karawanken-Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark (Austria/Slovenia), and Valongo (Portugal) impressed the panel of independent sustainability experts with their applications and were selected from 11 applicant destinations.
The finalists will be invited to present their proposals to a European Jury, with the responsibility of selecting the 2024 European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism. The winning destination will be positioned as a tourism sustainability pioneer committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will receive expert communication and branding support at the EU level throughout 2024.
Being designated as the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2024 would serve as inspiration to other tourism destinations in Europe. Additionally, it would enhance the winning city's profile as a top travel destination, attracting visitors and promoting sustainable economic growth.
- Publication date
- 25 September 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs