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Press section

Welcome to the press section of the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2022. Here you can access press releases, event updates and the latest news about the competition. 

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Awarding innovative, green and accessible tourism and paving the way towards a sustainable recovery

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This initiative is managed by the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and results from a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament.

The tourism sector plays a crucial role in generating growth and jobs in the EU, and still holds untapped potential – especially in the area of smart tourism. We  aim to promote the EU’s forward-thinking tourism offer to global audiences and sustainably increase footfall at pioneering destinations that offer unique visitor experiences.

European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity.

With many cities and destinations looking to recover and grow more resilient after the global pandemic, it is important to develop and implement smart tourism practices in line with green and digital transition.

Press resources

General publications12 April 2021
Press announcement - EU launches European Capital of Smart Tourism 2021 competition
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(87.89 KB - PDF)
General publications12 April 2021
European Capital of Smart Tourism 2021 - official logo_horizontal
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(100.25 KB - PDF)


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Newsletter archive

June 2021: The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 competition deadline is closed

The application deadline for the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 competition is now closed. We thank all applicants for the effort they put into applying. All submitted applications, under the condition that they are admissible and eligible, will be reviewed during a pre-selection phase (Evaluation step 1) by a panel of independent experts in the tourism field. The finalist cities will receive further guidance on the live presentations in due time.

December 2020: The 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism: inspiring other urban destinations on the recovery of tourism from the COVID-19 pandemic

This year the world has been facing an unprecedented global health, social and economic emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel and tourism are among the most affected sectors, amid global travel restrictions to contain the virus. During this challenging year, the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, Gothenburg and Málaga have launched a number of smart tourism initiatives and strengthened their network by working together with other cities to make European travel destinations smarter and to support the recovery of the sector.

July 2020: News from the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism Gothenburg and Málaga

Gothenburg is taking part in Sweden’s ‘Safe to visit’ information campaign, an initiative that was launched in June. Hotels, restaurants and campsites can display a sticker on windows and entrance doors showing guests that they are complying with authority guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Read more news about Gothenburg here.

February 2020: The 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism kick off their year

Málaga celebrates its win as the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism

To kick off its year as the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism, Málaga celebrated with an impressive gala event full of performances at the city’s Trade Fair and Congress Centre on 28 January 2020, showcasing its achievements as a creative, accessible, sustainable and digital tourism destination. Francisco de la Torre, Málaga’s Mayor, appealed to the present members of the tourism sector, city representatives and well-known artists, to help build lasting momentum and join the city’s upcoming activities as the European Capital of Smart Tourism during the year.

January 2020: Gothenburg and Málaga are the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism

Gothenburg (Sweden) and Málaga (Spain) have been selected as the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, following a European Jury meeting in Helsinki on 8 October 2019. The two cities impressed the European Jury not only with their exemplary achievements across all four categories of the competition, but also with the programmes of activities they intend to implement during 2020, and their capacity to act as a role model for other cities.

September 2019: 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism Helsinki releases ‘Think Sustainably’ service for visitors and locals

In August, the 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism Helsinki launched a local sustainability programme that enables users to find Helsinki’s most sustainable restaurants, accommodation, shops and experiences! The service also encourages its users to switch to emission-free transport options when in the city and features a route planner, displaying CO2 emissions of trips.

December 2018: Introducing the European Smart Tourism Award Recipients

The first edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative has reached its conclusion, with Helsinki and Lyon declared the winners. Four additional cities were also recognised with 2019 European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in the initiative's four categories: Málaga (Accessibility), Ljubljana (Sustainability), Copenhagen (Digitalisation) and Linz (Cultural Heritage & Creativity). These cities received the highest individual category scores of all 38 applicant cities, during a pre-selection phase carried out by an independent panel of experts.

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