EU launches the next European Capital of Smart Tourism competition


Innovative, sustainable, and accessible tourism pioneers setting the stage for the future of smart tourism in Europe

BRUSSELS, March 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the European Commission launches the next edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. This initiative rewards European cities for outstanding, innovative, digitized and sustainable tourism practices.

The tourism sector plays a crucial role in generating economic growth, creating jobs, and building a diverse and multi-cultural Europe. Within this sector, smart tourism has quickly risen to become the forefront of innovation in a variety of subcategories including accessibility, digitalization and sustainability. Through this initiative, the European Commission aims to keep European tourism ahead of the curve and foster a culture of excellence in the European tourism sector.

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Taking over from the current European Capitals of Smart Tourism Bordeaux and València, the winning cities will receive expert communication and branding support throughout 2023 which will tell the story of the outstanding smart and innovative practices that made them stand out and become the 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. This will include the production of a promotional video, a large hashtag sculpture to install in a prominent location, diverse promotional activities and visibility at EU level and internationally. The winners will also have the chance to join a growing and active network of smart destinations that were shortlisted in the previous editions of the competition, exchange best practices and learn from one another.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative, currently financed under the COSME Programme. As such, the competition is open to cities across both the EU, as well as the non-EU countries that take part in the COSME program[1].

In order to compete for the 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism title, cities are asked to demonstrate their innovative tourism practices in four areas: accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation, cultural heritage and creativity. Applications will first be evaluated by a panel of independent experts. In the second step, 7 shortlisted cities will be asked to present their city’s candidature in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will select two winners, the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2023, which will be announced in Nov 2022.

The competition has a proven track record of success. The 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism is the fourth edition of the competition. Bordeaux and València were selected as the 2022 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, Gothenburg and Málaga as the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, while Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and jointly held the titles of 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism.

To apply, city representatives are asked to complete an online form. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2022 at 17:00 CET.

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Contact
European Capital of Smart Tourism Secretariat:
Sandra Bumbar Malchow/ Antigoni Avgeropoulou, [email protected]+49 (0) 30 70 01 86 390

Notes to Editors


  1. Smart tourism responds to new challenges and demands in a fast-changing sector, including the expectation of digital information, products and services; equal opportunities and access for all visitors; sustainable development of the local area; and support to creative industries and local talent.
  2. In 2021, from amongst 30 EU cities which applies, Bordeaux and València were selected as the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2022. In 2019, amongst 35 EU cities which applied, Málaga and Gothenburg stood out and were selected as the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2020. In 2018, amongst 38 EU cities, Helsinki and Lyon stood out and were selected the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2019. Watch the Smart Tourism Capitals video for Bordeaux and Valencia.
  3. The competition for European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2023 opened on March 31, 2022. Details on how to apply and terms and conditions can be found at www.SmartTourismCapital.eu. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2022 at 17:00 CET.
  4. The competition is open to cities in the EU Member States and COSME countries with a population of over 100,000. In countries where no city has more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply. Please refer to the Guide for Applicants for more information.
  5. Eligible applications will be evaluated against a set of established assessment criteria, by a panel of independent experts. The European Commission, based on the evaluation by experts, will shortlist 7 cities, which will be invited to present their candidatures in front of a European Jury. The European Jury will select two European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2023.
  6. Cities shortlisted as finalists will be announced in September 2022 and the winners will be revealed in Nov 2022.

[1] Albanian, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North MacedoniaSerbia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom. https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/39579

SOURCE European Capital of Smart Tourism

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