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Genoa shortlisted as European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 

European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism is a title that every city out there is aiming at and two Italian cities have been shortlisted for the 2024 awards. The European Commission announced the shortlisted cities for the 2024 European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism competitions. The two awards will go to destinations that demonstrate a remarkable commitment to shaping the future of smart and sustainable tourism.  

European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism

From a pool of 30 candidates spanning 17 countries, the selected finalists for the European Capital of Smart Tourism are in alphabetical order, Bremerhaven (Germany), Cork (Ireland), Dublin (Ireland), Genoa (Italy), Helsingborg (Sweden), and San Sebastián (Spain). The shortlist for the 2024 finalists now comprises six destinations, instead of the initially mentioned four, due to a tie score. Essen (Germany), Gdynia (Poland), Odense (Denmark), Padua (Italy), and Parma (Italy) are designated as runner-up cities.

The Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, Italy

For the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism the following destinations, presented in alphabetical order, impressed the panel of independent sustainability experts with their applications and were selected from 11 applicant destinations: Grevena (Greece), Grosseto (Italy), Karawanken-Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark (Austria/Slovenia), and Valongo (Portugal).

The shortlisted cities will be invited to present their candidatures in front of a European Jury, who will select the 2024 European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism. The awardees will receive communication and branding support throughout 2024. This includes a promotional video, and tailored promotional actions designed to increase visibility at EU and global level and increase the number of visitors.

The competitions welcomed participation from cities and destinations within the European Union and non-EU countries that are eligible to the Single Market Programme. The applications were evaluated by a rigorous panel of independent experts. Applicants with the highest overall score successfully advanced. 

Strolling in the city centre of Parma

About the initiative

The European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative that rewards cities for their innovative approaches in accessibility, digitalisation, sustainability, and cultural heritage and creativity. Built on the successful experience of a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament, the initiative seeks to foster innovative, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development, as well as spread and facilitate the exchange of best practices.

The competition provides winners a platform to showcase their outstanding practices to the world. Smart tourism practices in Europe implemented by the applicants of the 2023 competition can be found in the ‘Leading Examples of Smart Tourism Practices in Europe’ report. Likewise, delegates from the European Capitals of Smart Tourism competition winners, shortlisted cities, and EU Commission’s representatives discuss in the EU Smart Tourism Podcast series the role of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition in driving the smart tourism innovation and examine smart tourism practices that are shaping the future in Europe.

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