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A new initiative to reward innovative and smart tourism in European Cities!

The European Capital of Smart Tourism recognises outstanding achievements in four categories: in sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity by European city destinations.

Two cities will be awarded the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism, and additional four cities will receive European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in the individual categories.

All finalists will need to demonstrate excellence across all categories combined and at a later stage present an attractive programme of activities for 2019.

This new EU initiative aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, network and strengthen destinations, and facilitate the exchange of best practice.



The European Commission is implementing the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative, in line with a Preparatory Action proposed by the European Parliament.

The Preparatory Action generally aims to:

  • promote the rich tourism offer of European countries and increase citizens’ sentiment of sharing local tourism-related values
  • strengthen tourism-generated innovative development in cities, their surroundings and their regions
  • increase the attractiveness of European cities that are awarded the title and strengthen economic growth and job creation
  • Establish a framework for the exchange of best practices between cities participating in the contest and create opportunities for cooperation and new partnerships.

This new initiative complements other EU actions and policy initiatives in the tourism field.


The Award Ceremony will take place on the European Tourism Day (7 November 2018) in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building in Brussels. The two European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2019 and the four winners in each category will be invited to contribute to an exhibition on achievements in smart tourism.


Our aim is to promote innovation to strengthen smart destinations in Europe, to enhance tourism offers for visitors and to facilitate new partnerships, networking and the exchange of best practice. We also 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.


This initiative is managed by the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and results from a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament.