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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Press release15 September 2022Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Seven shortlisted cities for the 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism title

Today, the European Commission announced the shortlisted cities for the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2023 award. 

Presented in alphabetical order, the finalists Aarhus (Denmark), Gijón (Spain), Pafos (Cyprus), Porto (Portugal), San Sebastián (Spain), Seville (Spain), Zagreb (Croatia) were selected from 29 candidates spanning 13 countries. 

See a short profile of each shortlisted city.

The competition was open to cities across the EU and non-EU countries taking part in the COSME programme. The applications were evaluated by a panel of independent experts. Applicants with the highest overall score across all categories made the cut. 

For the next step, we will invite the shortlisted cities to present their candidatures in front of a European Jury, who will select the 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. The 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism will also receive communication and branding support throughout 2023. This support includes a promotional video, a specially designed hashtag sculpture for the city to display, and tailored promotion to increase EU and global visibility and increase the number of visitors.

Since 2018, the competition has provided a platform to showcase outstanding practices and success stories. The victors from previous editions, Helsinki and Lyon (2019), Málaga and Gothenburg (2020), and València and Bordeaux (2022), are role models for smart tourism in Europe and top international rankings of sustainability, innovation, livability, and integration of smart practices. 

About the initiative

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative, currently financed under the COSME Programme. It aims to promote smart tourism in the EU by rewarding cities for their pioneering smart tourism approaches in accessibility, digitalisation, sustainability, cultural heritage, and creativity. Built on the successful experience of a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament, the initiative fosters innovative, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development, while spreading and facilitating the exchange of best practices.

See European smart tourism practices implemented by 2022 competition applicants in the ‘Leading Examples of Smart Tourism Practices in Europe’ report. Listen to the EU Smart Tourism Podcast series, where delegates from winning cities, shortlisted cities, and Commission representatives discuss the competition's role in driving innovation and examine practices shaping the future of smart tourism in Europe.

More information


European Capital of Smart Tourism Secretariat: 
Antigoni Avgeropoulou,, +49 (0) 30 70 01 86 390 

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