Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Competition launch: European Capital of Smart Tourism

Competition launch: European Capital of Smart Tourism
Published on: 11/04/2018
In line with a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament, the European Commission is launching a competition to award the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 to 2 European cities with the most smart, innovative and inclusive approaches to their tourism development.
European Capital of Smart Tourism

This new initiative showcases and recognises outstanding achievements by EU destinations in the 4 areas of: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity.

In addition to the 2 capitals, 4 European cities will receive thematic European smart tourism awards for their achievements in each of the 4 areas listed above.

The awarded cities will be presented during a special exhibition at the award ceremony in Brussels on 7 November 2018 as part of European Tourism Day.

By rewarding exemplary practices of smart tourism, the EU seeks to encourage innovation of tourism destinations, support culturally diverse and inclusive tourism and highlight the multi-faceted contribution of tourism to sustainable development.

What are the benefits?

During 2019 2 cities will hold the title of the European Capital of Smart Tourism and will receive:

  • expert communication and branding support for a year
  • tailor made promotional actions designed to boost visitor numbers
  • a promotional video
  • a purpose-built sculpture for their city centre

Who can apply?

The competition is open to cities in the EU with a population over 100,000 inhabitants. In EU countries where no city has more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.

How to apply

Apply via the online application form before 30 June 2018.

For more information and application, please visit the initiative’s website

Selection - Assessment criteria

A panel of independent experts will assess eligible applications against the following criteria:

  1. How innovative and smart are the implemented measures?
  2. How sustainable are the implemented measures over time?
  3. How inclusive are the implemented measures for different social groups?
  4. The degree to which the measures contributed to raising the city’s profile as a tourism destination. How effective are these measures? What are the measurable impacts of the measures implemented? 

The top 10 shortlisted cities will be invited to Brussels to present their candidature in front of a European jury consisting of EU institution representatives.

The European jury will make the final selection of the 2 European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2019. The 4 thematic European smart tourism awards will go to the best achievers in each individual category.


For more information please contact us at


  • 11 April 2018: Opening of competition
  • 30 June 2018: Application deadline
  • August 2018: Finalist cities announced
  • September 2018: Final selection by the European Jury
  • 7 November 2018: Award ceremony and exhibition in Brussels