In 2018, the European Commission launched a first EU-wide competition for the European Capital of Smart Tourism. 38 cities from 19 EU Member States submitted their applications to compete for the 2019 European Capital of Smart Tourism title. Helsinki (Finland) and Lyon (France) won the competition and were the 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. In 2019, the competition for the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism was launched in which 35 cities from 17 EU Member States competed. Gothenburg (Sweden) and Málaga (Spain) won the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism titles.
The selection of best practices compiled in this report has been derived from the applications the cities submitted to the two competitions (2019 and 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism). The report showcases the selection of best practices in each category (Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation, Cultural heritage and creativity) and solely presents and relies on the data that the cities have submitted in their applications.
Apart from showcasing exemplary practices by cities as tourism destinations in: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation, Cultural Heritage and Creativity, the European 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.