Aiming to award outstanding achievements in smart, innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism by cities in Europe, the European Commission on Wednesday launched the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition.
According to an announcement, the initiative aims to promote the smart tourism offer and showcase innovative, inclusive, culturally diverse and sustainable practices to tourism development by European cities.
Tourism is the EU’s third largest socio-economic activity as it represents almost 10 percent of EU GDP and supports 25 million jobs. “By rewarding exemplary practices of smart tourism, the European Union seeks to encourage innovation at the level of tourism destinations, culturally diverse and inclusive tourism offers and highlight the multifaceted contribution of tourism to sustainable development,” the announcement said.
Cities invited to apply
The competition opened on April 11 and the deadline for applications is on June 30. The finalists will be announced in mid-August and the winners in the second half of September.
Two European cities that demonstrate innovation, creativity and excellence in four categories – accessibility, sustainability, digitization, cultural heritage and creativity – will be awarded the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019.
In addition, four European cities will receive thematic European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in the categories listed above.
The winners of the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 will receive expert communication and branding support for a year; a marketing video; a purpose-built sculpture for their city center and tailor-made promotional actions.
The awarded achievements will be presented in a special exhibition on the occasion of a prestigious award ceremony in Brussels on November 7, on European Tourism Day. Details on how to apply and terms and conditions can be found here.