On the initiative of the European Parliament, today the European Commission launches the European Capital of Smart Tourism to recognise outstanding achievements in smart, innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism by European cities.
The initiative aims to promote the smart tourism offer and showcase innovative, inclusive, culturally diverse and sustainable practices to tourism development by European cities.
Tourism is the EU’s third largest socio-economic activity – it represents almost 10% of EU GDP and supports 25 million jobs. By rewarding exemplary practices of smart tourism, the European Union seeks to encourage innovation at the level of tourism destinations, culturally diverse and inclusive tourism offers and highlight the multi-faceted contribution of tourism to sustainable development.
Two European cities that demonstrate innovation, creativity and excellence in four categories – accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation, cultural heritage and creativity – will be awarded the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019.
Winners of the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 will receive expert communication and branding support for a year, a marketing video, a purpose-built sculpture for their city centre, and tailor-made promotional actions.
In addition, four European cities will receive thematic European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in the categories listed above.
The awarded achievements will be presented in a special exhibition on the occasion of a prestigious Award Ceremony in Brussels on 7 November 2018, organised on the European Tourism Day.