Home > News & Events > European Union News > European Capital of Smart Tourism

Featured News

European Capital of Smart Tourism

Brussels, Belgium, 09 August 2017


The new initiative "European Capital of Smart Tourism" complements other actions implemented by the European Commission so far in the tourism field. It constitutes a complementary leverage to raise awareness, further enhance the development of and reward already existing good practices of sustainable and accessible tourism, as well as of tourism using digital tools and cultural and creative industries to enhance the visitor experience.

The initiative is well in line with the EU tourism policy, in particular, it is feeding into one of the priority axes of the Commission actions: Raising the profile of Europe as a tourism destination with the aim to complement promotional efforts at national and regional level and to attract more tourism flows to Europe, particularly from key third countries' source markets. Therefore it is aimed that this action will contribute as well to promote Europe as a tourism destination in third markets, and to increase international tourism flows in Europe.

In general, the initiative will contribute to:

  • Achieving the EU tourism policy objectives to foster innovative development of tourism which is accessible, sustainable and using digital tools and creative industries to enhance the visitor experience,

  • Establishing a framework of exchange of best practices between destinations participating in the contest, including mutual learning and networking, creating opportunities for cooperation and new partnerships,

  • Additional visibility for the awarded destinations throughout the EU, but also in selected third countries through the promotion actions of Europe as a tourism destination.

The specific aim of the Preparatory Action "European Capital of Smart Tourism" is to:

  • promote the rich tourism offer of European countries, increase citizens' sentiment of sharing local tourism-related values

  • strengthen tourism-generated innovative development in cities, their surroundings and their regions

  • increase the attractiveness and enhance the image of cities and their surrounding regions that get the title and strengthen their relations and cooperation and therefore, economic growth and job creation

The operational objective of the Preparatory Action is to select 2 European Capitals of Smart Tourism and award several (4) European Smart Tourism Awards in each selection cycle. In line with the general objectives, it is foreseen that the initiative and awarded destinations get EU wide visibility and benefit from targeted promotional and dissemination activities

The Preparatory Action will be implemented via an open call for tender. The aim is to select a contractor which should assist the European Commission in managing the "European Capital of Smart Tourism" initiative.

A smart tourism destination, for the purpose of this action, is defined as a destination facilitating access to tourism and hospitality products, services, spaces and experiences through ICT-based tools and where a healthy social and cultural environment can be found through a focus on the city's social and human capital. It also implements innovative, intelligent solutions and fosters the development of entrepreneurial businesses and their interconnectedness.

In line with this overaching definition, the initiative will showcase exemplary practices by tourism destinations in implementing innovative and intelligent solutions within four categories: 1) sustainability, 2) accessibility, 3) digitalisation, 4) cultural heritage and creativity. More specific criteria will apply to each category.


The contract shall enter into force on the date on which it is signed by the last contracting party.

It is expected to be signed in November 2017.

The duration of the tasks shall not exceed 30 months.

The execution of the tasks may not start before the contract has been signed. The period of execution of the tasks may be extended, only with the written agreement of the contracting parties, before the end of the period originally stated in the contract.

View the ECN Procurement Notice (This notice is visible only to ECN Executive and Expert Members: Please login to view).

Back to Featured News