The European Commission announced the seven shortlisted cities for the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 competition (in alphabetical order).
- Bordeaux (France)
- Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Dublin (Ireland)
- Florence (Italy)
- Ljubljana (Slovenia)
- Palma (Spain)
- Valencia (Spain)
The 7 finalist cities were selected from a total of 30 applications from across 16 countries.
In addition to this, the European Commission announced the three shortlisted destinations for the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2022 competition (in alphabetical order)
- Gürsu (Turkey)
- Middelfart (Denmark)
- Thisted (Denmark)
This initiative rewards the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations across Europe.
Both competitions are EU initiatives that aim to celebrate destinations for their smart and sustainable tourism practices, as well as promote the growth of these practices in the EU.
On one side, the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition recognises outstanding achievements in four specific categories: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation as well as Cultural heritage and creativity.
On the other side, the European Destination of Excellence competition addresses smaller tourism destinations that can showcase their outstanding achievements in sustainability and inspire other tourism destinations in their green transition.
The competitions were open to destinations across both the EU, as well as non-EU countries taking part in the COSME programme.
In the next step, the shortlisted destinations from both initiatives will present their candidatures in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will select two winners to become the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2022 and one winner that will become the European Destination of Excellence 2022. The winners will be announced in November 2021.
The two European Capitals of Smart Tourism will benefit from communication and branding support throughout 2022. This will include a promotional video, a purpose-built hashtag sculpture to install in a prominent location, diverse promotional activities and visibility at the EU level.
The European Destination of Excellence will be positioned as a tourism sustainability pioneer committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will receive expert communication and branding support at the EU level throughout the same year.