Bordeaux (France) and València (Spain) launched their European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 titles and respective programmes with the presence of the cities’ Mayors, academia, stakeholders and representatives of the European Commission.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative, currently financed under the COSME Programme. It promotes smart tourism in the EU, fosters innovative, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development and the exchange of best practices. The initiative recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four categories: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation as well as Cultural heritage and creativity.
During the launching events, the 2022 Capitals received their trophies from Marie-Hélène Pradines, representative of the European Commission, and their 3-meter-high hashtag sculptures were unveiled. The sculptures, awarded to celebrate the cities’ success as European Capitals of Smart Tourism, are located in the City of Arts and Sciences of València and the Exhibition Centre of Bordeaux. The sculptures are an enduring landmark to the four categories of the initiative and a visual representation of the EU’s commitment to smart tourism.
During the festivities, Bordeaux’s Mayor Pierre Hurmic said, “I am very pleased to receive today the European Union’s European Capital of Smart Tourism Award, which rewards our commitment to the inclusion of all, to sustainable digital technology, to ecology and to the participation of residents and stakeholders”.
València’s Mayor Joan Ribó said, “Six years ago we decided to change the city’s tourism model and transform it into a sustainable, integrated, competitive model that respects its citizens and its natural and cultural heritage”.
On behalf of the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, Eva Flyborg, Vice President of Göteborg & Co, and Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Málaga sent their digital greetings and congratulations to the new Capitals.
During 2022, the two European Capitals of Smart Tourism will benefit from communication and branding support. Both Bordeaux and València are planning extensive programmes to showcase their outstanding initiatives and inspire other European cities to develop tourism in a smarter and more sustainable way.