Sustainable Tourism

Apply for European Capital of Smart Tourism or Green Pioneer Award!

Smart tourism is becoming more in demand in Europe. Now cities and municipalities can submit their application for an EU Award for tourism initiatives 2024. This year applications are also accepted from the cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants. Deadline for online Applications is 5 of July. Submissions will be accepted by the Commission in two categories:

Please also read: Smartour project updates

Photo @European Commission

About the Award

Tourism is the EU’s third largest socio-economic activity, representing around 10% of the EU’s GDP. The sector plays a crucial role in generating growth and jobs, but still holds untapped potential – especially in the area of smart tourism. Innovation, accessibility, and sustainability are the future of tourism. Furthermore, cultural heritage and creativity greatly supplement tourism. Therefore the European Commission aims to keep European tourism ahead of the curve. 

Competition history

The 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism is the fifth edition of the competition. Pafos and Seville were the winners of the 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. Previous winners include Bordeaux and València (2022), Gothenburg and Málaga (2020), Helsinki and Lyon (2019).

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative, currently financed under the COSME Programme. It is built on the successful experience of the Preparatory Action proposed by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission since 2019. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the 2021 edition of the competition was suspended.

There will only be one winning city in the 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition!

Green Pioneer Award

The European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism is also an initiative, implemented by the European Commission. Its aim is to recognise and award smaller destinations that have implemented successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.

The destination showing the most successful strategies or measures to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices will be awarded the title of the “European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2024”. The Destination schuld convince the European Jury with an exciting programme for the year in which it will hold the title!

Applicants for European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism can also join an online workshop on 5th of June.

Why both competitions?

With the EU-wide competition, the Commission wants to inspire cities and communities to dare to innovate in the tourism sector and make them known, intelligent and sustainable travel destinations in Europe should be strengthened.

Both awards also offer the potential to further improve the tourist offer for visitors.

For cities and municipalities that are successful in the competition, participation also opens up new contacts and opportunities for partnerships and cross-border networking with new opportunities for the exchange of best practices in the award community.

European Wilderness Society, as a partner of the ERASMUS + SMARTOUR project, considers European Capital of Smart Tourism and  Green Pioneer Awards as an important element of the Smart tourism further development, support and promotion.

Iryna Shchoka
Project manager at the European Wilderness Society

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