In 2021, from amongst 30 EU cities that apply, Bordeaux and València were selected as the European Capitals of Smart Tourism 2022.
The 2022 European Capitals of Smart Tourism Bordeaux and València provide a series of smart tourism experiences that they are continuing to develop and expand upon. These smart experiences can be categories under digital, sustainable, accessible, and cultural heritage and creativity.
Smart Tourism in Bordeaux
The historic maritime city, nestled along the Atlantic Ocean in the Bay of Biscay is a hub of smart tourism innovation and trailblazing smart tourism experiences that combine forward thinking and an ability to look beyond the horizon. Bordeaux offers each visitor the chance to dive into the experience of the city through a series of ambitious urban renewal projects, integrative sustainable planning, and using the knowledge of the experts of Bordeaux to fuel the information available: the residents.
Bordeaux employs the knowledge accrued by its residents to regularly update and produce the webzine “Un air de Bordeaux”. This publication offers visitors an insight into the best things to do, events that are happening, and secret tips and tricks for exploring Bordeaux. And by utilising the city’s 160 km of GR-accredited pedestrian walkways and paths any visit to the city is bound to be sustainable and adventure.
Beyond this, the city offers visitors the chance to experience true urban renewal with the Bassins à Flot district designed by urban architect Nicolas Michelin, which transformed an industrial wasteland into a flourishing economic and tourists centre for Bordeaux. It is here that the famous wine museum La Cité du Vin can be found. An additional smart tourism experience can be found in the Darwin Ecosystem. As one of the most visited sites in Bordeaux, this former military barracks is a place of diversity and innovation, where visitors can find the largest organic restaurant in France, skateparks, an open-air gallery for graffiti artists and co-working spaces and with a commitment to helping refugees.
Smart Tourism in València
An equally historic maritime city, València has cultivated a mindset of creativity and inclusion to fuel the city’s drive into a more sustainable and digital future. The result: a smart tourism experience that ensures an all-round opportunity for visitors to be amazed at what European cities can to when the do tourism the smart way.
València is the first city in the world to measure its tourism carbon footprint and is planning to be carbon neutral by 2030. This has the effect that almost everything the city does for its tourism is done in a sustainable fashion. Beyond this, L’Albufera National Park, València is cementing its commitment to sustainable tourism by preserving and conserving this natural resource and helping to educate the public along the way. For a more digital and futuristic experience, the City of Arts and Sciences, where the Hemispheric is located, as the largest projection room in Spain promotes creativity and intelligence as something to be celebrated and advanced.
Due to increased global temperatures, València concerns itself ever increasingly with the impact this might have on the city ecology. As a result, the Turia Gardens were built on a dried-up riverbed and now provide shade in the summer and a further area for urban flora to cultivate. At the Malvarrosa beach, València’s sustainable commitment continues with 19km of shoreline that provide an escape to the sea but also a coastline that València maintains and protects.
EU Smart Tourism Podcast Series
The European Commission has launched the EU Smart Tourism Podcast” series to help showcase the rich and diverse world of smart tourism in Europe. The podcast is specifically designed to help the listener gain and understand of what smart tourism is and how the can benefit from smart tourism practices in their city.
For each episode the European Commission invites guest speakers from a range of different cities across Europe. These cities are a part of the European Capital of Smart Tourism network either as former winners of the competition or as shortlisted destinations. The podcast features various fascinating discussions about the world of smart tourism in Europe from digitalisation to accessibility and from creative cultural heritage to sustainability.
You can listen to all episodes of the EU Smart Tourism Podcast on either, Spotify, Podbean or Amazon Music.