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European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism
News announcement25 March 2024Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs2 min read

2025 Competitions: This what you need to know before you apply

The European Commission recently launched the competitions for the European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2025. The application window is open until 31 May 2024.

timeline 2025 edition

Below you will find a list of seven important steps and suggestions that can help you submit a successful application or listen to the EU Smart Tourism podcast episode “Your Guide to Success in Smart Tourism Competitions” here:

1.     Get ready: Identify the required documents and signatures as early as possible as the application process may require several documents, such as a letter signed by the mayor. Ensure that you have a checklist and stay organised!  

2.     Tell us your smart tourism story: Create a clear and convincing story narrative. Your application should tell a story that highlights the unique strengths of your city and how it embraces smart and green tourism practices. Make sure that your narrative is easy to understand and that it resonates with the competition's objectives.  

3.     Teamwork makes the dream work: The application process is a team effort, and it is important to involve the stakeholders, including local officials, tourism offices, residents, or retail businesses. Encourage all parties to contribute to the application, as they can add valuable insights and perspectives.  

4.     Leave nothing behind: Make sure that your application covers all the criteria specified in the competition guidelines. Provide comprehensive information on your city's tourism infrastructure, sustainable practices, smart tourism initiatives, and cultural offerings.  

5.     Highlight your city's achievements: Showcase the efforts your city has made towards developing smart and green tourism practices. This could include the implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives, digitisation efforts, or other innovative practices. Don't be modest – make sure to highlight all the achievements of your city.  

6.     Big picture thinking: Remember that the categories in the competition reflect broad assessment criteria that encompass various aspects of smart tourism. For example, the accessibility category is not just about physical accessibility but also about ensuring that all tourists, including those with disabilities, have access to information about your city's attractions and services. This includes providing clear and concise information on your city's website, ensuring that public spaces are easy to navigate, and making sure that your city is welcoming and open to all tourists, regardless of their background or needs. It's important to address all aspects of the categories in your application, and to showcase how your city is meeting the broad assessment criteria set by the competition.  

7.     Be creative: The competition is not just about showcasing your city's smart tourism practices but also about standing out from the competition. When you reach the finalists, be creative in your next step, the presentation in front of the Jury, and make sure your application is also visually appealing.