The European Commission has officially announced Dublin (Ireland) and Grosseto (Italy) as the winners of the 2024 European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism titles.
This prestigious recognition comes after a rigorous competition involving 40 destinations from 21 countries, emphasizing their excellence in accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation, and cultural heritage & creativity.
Dublin, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and innovative urban landscape, impressed the European Jury with its comprehensive achievements across all competition categories. The city’s commitment to executing an array of exceptional activities throughout 2024 played a crucial role in securing its win. Grosseto, on the other hand, emerged as a leader in sustainable tourism. Its pioneering efforts in sustainable practices showcased its potential as a model for other destinations aiming to embrace eco-friendly tourism.
Both Dublin and Grosseto will be awarded a custom-made sculpture, signifying their status as the European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism for the year. The winners will also receive promotional support and join the expanding network of smart, sustainable tourism destinations across Europe. This network is dedicated to the exchange of knowledge and best practices, through workshops and the publication of a best practices guide.
The 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism, Dublin, is set to become a beacon for digital, accessible, sustainable, and creative tourism in Europe and beyond. It will demonstrate innovative tourism measures that can be replicated across other cities. Grosseto, as the 2024 European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism, will play a significant role in steering the future of sustainable tourism in the European tourism industry, making a considerable impact internationally.
Pafos and Seville are the 2023 Capitals, Bordeaux and València were selected as the 2022 Capitals, Gothenburg and Málaga as the 2020 Capitals, while Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and jointly held the 2019 titles. In 2023, the Estonian city of Tallinn was awarded as the European Green Capital.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, an initiative proposed by the European Parliament, aims to promote smart tourism across the EU. It rewards cities that showcase pioneering approaches in accessibility, digitalisation, sustainability, and cultural heritage & creativity. The initiative also fosters innovative, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development and facilitates the exchange of best practices.
Replacing the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition, the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism acknowledges smaller destinations implementing successful strategies for sustainable tourism through green transition practices. This competition emphasizes the development of sustainable tourism that benefits the economy, the planet, and people.
Insights into smart tourism practices in Europe, as implemented by the 2023 competition applicants, are detailed in the reports ‘Leading Examples of Smart Tourism Practices in Europe’ and ‘Leading Examples of Smart and Sustainable Tourism Practices in Europe’. Additionally, the EU Smart Tourism Podcast series features discussions from winners and shortlisted cities of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, alongside EU Commission’s representatives, focusing on the role of smart tourism innovation and future-shaping tourism practices in Europe.