The EU has announced finalists in new competition recognising European cities with outstanding achievements in smart tourism
The following cities have been shortlisted as finalists in the competition for the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 title: Brussels (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Lyon (France), Málaga (Spain), Nantes (France), Palma (Spain), Poznań (Poland), Tallinn (Estonia), and Valencia (Spain).
This new EU initiative aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, foster innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism development, as well as spread and facilitate the exchange of best practices. The European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative recognises outstanding achievements in four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity, by European cities as tourism destinations.
In the first stage of the competition, an independent panel of experts evaluated applications from 38 cities from 19 EU Member States.
All finalist cities demonstrated excellence across the four competition categories combined.
In the second stage, a European Jury will judge the presentations of the ten finalist cities and will select the two winners that will hold the title of the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019.
The two winning cities will benefit from communication and branding support for a year, a promotional video, a purpose-built sculpture for their city centres, and bespoke promotional actions.
Four additional cities will receive European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in the four categories of the competition (sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation and cultural heritage and creativity).
All winning cities will be honoured at an Award Ceremony on the occasion of European Tourism Day in Brussels on 7 November 2018.
The competition was open to submissions from 11 April 2018 to 30 June 2018. Smart tourism responds to new challenges and demands in a fast-changing sector, including the expectation of digital information, products and services; equal opportunities and access for all visitors; sustainable development of the local area; and support to creative industries and local talent.