Awarding innovative, green and accessible tourism
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.
The European Smart Tourism initiative recognises outstanding smart and sustainable achievements by European cities as tourism destinations.
On 5 May 2023, the European Commission launched the 2024 edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism, as well as the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism competitions; calling for cities to submit their leading examples of smart and sustainable tourism practices in Europe. Innovation, accessibility, and sustainability are the future of tourism, and the European Commission aims to keep European tourism ahead of the curve.
For the first time after three years, ITB Berlin, one of the world’s leading travel trade fairs, took place from 7-9 March 2023. ITB attendees had the opportunity to visit the European Capital of Smart Tourism and EDEN stand, be informed about the initiatives and get an insight into how the European Commission is supporting the EU tourism sector in turning challenges into opportunities and remaining competitive in a fast-changing global market.
Following a Jury meeting in Brussels on 9 November 2022, Pafos (Cyprus) and Seville (Spain) have been selected as the 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. Both cities were nominated for their excellence as tourism destinations in accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation and cultural heritage and creativity.
After taking the first steps into the world of smart tourism practices in Europe with the inaugural episode, the second episode of the EU Smart Tourism Podcast is now focusing on sustainable smart tourism practices in Europe, innovations, and people behind them who are driving the European tourism industry toward a greener form of tourism.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative rewards cities for their pioneering smart tourism approaches in accessibility, digitalisation, sustainability, and cultural heritage and creativity. The competition provides the winners the platform to showcase their outstanding practices to the world.
Bordeaux and València have been selected as the winners of the EU’s 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, following a European Jury meeting in Brussels on 26 October 2021. The winners will be awarded the trophy on 16 November 2021 at a ceremony as part of the 20th European Tourism Forum hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the EU.
We reveal seven shortlisted cities from the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2021 competition. Seven European cities have been shortlisted for the 2021 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition (presented in alphabetical order):
Bordeaux (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dublin (Ireland), Florence (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Palma (Spain), Valencia (Spain).
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.
On 22 April the European Commission launched the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 competition. This is the third competition of the EU initiative which rewards European cities for outstanding, innovative, and sustainable tourism practices, promotes smart tourism in the EU, fosters networking of destinations, and facilitates the exchange of best practices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Helsinki and Lyon close off the year as 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. Throughout 2019, both cities have set high standards with their outstanding measures in smart tourism, promoted the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative and strengthened their network by working together with other cities to make European travel destinations smarter.
Gothenburg and Málaga have been selected as the winners of the EU’s 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, following a European Jury meeting in Helsinki on 8 October 2019. The winners were announced and awarded on 9 October 2019 at a ceremony on the occasion of the European Tourism Forum in Helsinki.
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.
Discover the smart measures presented by the cities that applied to become the first European Capitals of Smart Tourism
The Compendium of Best Practices presents a selection of smart and innovative measures put forward by cities in their applications to become the inaugural, 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative rewards cities for their innovative smart tourism practices and gives them a platform to showcase their outstanding practices to the world.
The application deadline to compete for the title of 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism will expire on 10 May 2019, so interested cities need to hurry up and apply!
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.