EU announces the two 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism for their excellence as tourism destinations in accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation, and cultural heritage & creativity.
Pafos (Cyprus) and Seville (Spain) have been selected as the winners of the EU’s 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, following a European Jury meeting in Brussels on 9 November 2022.
In total, 29 cities from across 13 countries competed, out of which 7 shortlisted cities were invited to present their candidatures in front of the European Jury. Pafos and Seville impressed the European Jury not only with their remarkable achievements across all four categories of the competition, but also with the outstanding programmes of activities they intend to execute during 2023. They also stood out for their capacity to act as role models for other cities.
The two European Capitals of Smart Tourism will receive a purpose-built sculpture for their city centres, which will be displayed prominently for the duration of their year as a European Capital of Smart Tourism. Furthermore, the winning cities will receive promotional support and become a part of the growing network of smart tourism cities in Europe. The network is facilitating knowledge sharing and the exchange of best practices, via a series of workshops and publication of a best practices guide. The European Capitals of Smart Tourism will become part of the post-COVID recovery of the European tourism industry that includes the support of innovative tourism measures and they are set to become role models for digital, accessible, sustainable and creative tourism in Europe and beyond.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative that aims to promote smart tourism in the EU by rewarding cities for their pioneering smart tourism approaches in accessibility, digitalisation, sustainability, and cultural heritage and creativity. Built on the successful experience of a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament, the initiative seeks to foster innovative, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development, as well as spread and facilitate the exchange of best practices.
Smart tourism practices in Europe implemented by the applicants of the 2022 competition can be found in the ‘Leading Examples of Smart Tourism Practices in Europe’ report. Likewise, delegates from the European Capitals of Smart Tourism competition winners, shortlisted cities, and EU Commission’s representatives discuss in the EU Smart Tourism Podcast series the role of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition in driving the smart tourism innovation and examine smart tourism practices that are shaping the future in Europe.
The Spanish city of Valencia will become the European Green Capital for 2024 and the title of European Green Leaf 2024 went jointly to Elsinore in Denmark and the Slovenian city of Velenje.