A home to three UNESCO World Heritage Declarations
Valencia lies on the Spanish South-eastern coast and is the third largest city in Spain with over 791,000 inhabitants. The picturesque city welcomes 2.2 million visitors every year and is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Declarations. The city boasts avant-garde architecture, a futuristic Arts and Sciences City and many creative events such as the Goyas film awards or the Michelin food gala. Its tourism sector employs over 30,000 professionals and it has been developing its innovative practices, making it a strong candidate for the European Capital of Smart Tourism.
Sustainable and climate conscious
Valencia is working to measure and certify the carbon footprint of its tourism activity. They are also the first European City to receive a double ITU (UN) and ISO certification for the Sustainable Development of Cities. They work closely with PREDIF (State Representative Platform of People with Physical Disability), and 52 of Valencia’s tourist entities and companies meet the requirements of PREDIF’s inclusive tourism programme. Accessible tours are widely available for those with reduced mobility, as well as in several languages. Information offices offer braille translations and pictograms, as well as the 24/7 interactive InfoTourist platform and the Visualfy system: an AI system that sends visual notifications to users’ devices. The city is well-connected by over 164km of cycle lanes, high-speed trains, motorways and its port which all have features for passengers requiring additional assistance. Valencia aims to become carbon neutral by 2030 and currently has several Sustainable Action Plans in place which include measures to reduce CO2 emissions, encourage electric vehicle usage, improve energy efficiency, promote sustainable food options and note impacts on cultural heritage. Valencia City Council actively monitors the social sustainability of tourist activity: control of irregular accommodation, installation of sensors in leisure areas to regulate noise, regular surveys of the public and more. In addition to anticipating and reducing the social impact of tourism, the City Council seeks the involvement of residents and other agents in tourism governance, which is why it has promoted a representative body, the Municipal Tourism Council, with 60 representatives from the tourism ecosystem, citizens and institutions.
The unparalleled economic benefits of digital tourism
Valencia is integrating several smart practices and collecting information in order to develop and enhance the city’s tourist experience. It has seamlessly implemented digital resources to amplify the exploration of its history and traditions and continues to strive for sustainability and protect its natural environment. Valencia’s economy benefits from an estimated €3,600 million thanks to the tourism industry and its new strategies will only increase this. Its support for digitalising tourism small and medium enterprises has also proved fruitful: in 2019 Valencia’s online tourism shop had a turnover of €4.5 million.
A city that speaks to all
Valencia´s city representatives work closely with PREDIF - State Representative Platform of People with Physical Disability, and 52 of Valencia’s tourist entities and companies meet the requirements of PREDIF’s inclusive tourism programme.
Accessible tours are widely available for those with reduced mobility, as well as in several languages.
Information offices offer braille translations and pictograms, as well as the 24/7 interactive InfoTourist platform and the Visualfy system: an AI system that sends visual notifications to users’ devices.
Download València's programme of activities here
Bordeaux and València discussing Smart and Sustainable Tourism in ITB Berlin
On 10 March 2022, Bordeaux and València, the 2022 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, and Middelfart, the 2022 European Destination of Excellence exchanged views on smart and sustainable tourism during this year’s ITB Berlin.