In 2018, the European Commission launched the first EU-wide competition for the selection of two 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. Helsinki and Lyon won the 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism title amongst the 38 cities from 19 EU Member States that submitted applications. This collection of best practices has been derived from the applications the cities submitted to the competition for the 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism title. This report showcases the selection of best practices in each category (Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation, Cultural Heritage and Creativity) and solely presents and relies on the information and data that the cities submitted in their applications.


Apart from showcasing exemplary practices by cities as tourism destinations in: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation, Cultural Heritage and Creativity, the Europen Capital of Smart Tourism initiative aims to establish a framework for the exchange of best practices between cities and creates opportunities for cooperation and new partnerships. The compendium aims at raising awareness about smart tourism tools, initiatives and projects, sharing the best practices in tourism implemented by cities and strengthening peer-to-peer learning and innovative development of tourism in the EU.


For the purpose of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, the cities were invited to describe and share their innovative projects, ideas and initiatives implemented under each of the four award categories (Accessibility, Digitalisation, Sustainability, Cultural Heritage & Creativity) which helped them to improve their profile as a tourism destination. As a guidance, the four categories were described as follows, but these were by no means exhaustive. The cities were encouraged to think beyond these given examples and to demonstrate specific cases, concrete actions and solutions implemented.

Presenting best practices