Europe has decided to recognize the achievements of some European cities in terms of the Smart Tourism initiatives they have undertaken. They are evaluated following four criteria of sustainability, accessibility, digitalization, cultural heritage, and creativity. This EU reward initiative aims to promote the best practices for smart tourism worldwide as well the exchange of these practices across Europe. Moreover, another important goal for the EU is increasing the attractiveness of European cities and the creation of new job places.
The 2022 edition is the third one and 7 cities have been shortlisted from a list of 30 applications :
1. Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux is an innovative and eco-friendly capital. It hosts one of the largest regions for wine-growing and 7,000 chateaux. The transport system is 100% accessible also to people with disabilities. The city is a good example of re-use of the present resources for new ideas, like the farm transformed into the biggest organic restaurant in Bordeaux.
2. Copenaghen, Denmark
The famous ancient Viking village aims to be the world’s first CO2-neutral capital by 2025. The Planet Copenhagen App is an innovative tool that helps visitors to make the best sustainable choice during their visit.
3. Dublin, Ireland
This magnificent city is investing in new innovative projects for the digitalization of the city and consequently of tourism too. New interactive maps and tools will be available for visitors who want to enjoy this capital.
4. Florence, Italy
Florence has been named a UNESCO Heritage site and has gotten the largest European pedestrian area in the city center and the highest number of disabled parking spaces in Italy. Moreover, the city is promoting #EnjoyRespectFirenze, a new project which led to a new sustainable and respectful way of living in the city.
5. Ljubljana, Slovenia
This city is one of the most innovative in Europe. Some good examples of its innovation can be the emission-free electric train, electric cars for disabled people, and 300 km of bike lanes through the city. Moreover, it is the only European city that has protected its native species of Carniolan Bee.
6. Palma, Spain
Palma is the largest city in the Balearic Islands and is a real example of sustainable tourism innovation. A good example of this is the project called “Green Corridor”; trees are being planted around the city and special digital panels have been set up to monitor climate change.
7. Valencia, Spain
Valencia aims to be a carbon-neutral city by 2030 and has received double ITU (UN) and ISO certification for the Sustainable Development of Cities. The city has taken measures to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of electric vehicles, but also for sustainable food use.
The next step for these cities is to present their candidatures to the European Jury, which will decide who is going to be the European Capital for Smart Tourism 2022. The prize the capital will benefit from will include a promotional video, a purpose-built hashtag sculpture to install in a prominent location, but also diverse promotional activities and visibility at the EU level.