Brussels, 25 september 2018 - Helsinki and Lyon selected as 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism by European Jury.
EU announces two cities to hold the title of European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2019 and recognises a further four cities for their outstanding achievements in: accessibility, sustainability, digitalisation and cultural heritage & creativity.
Helsinki and Lyon have been selected as the winners of the first edition of the EU’sHelsinki and Lyon have been selected as the winners of the first edition of the EU’sEuropean Capital of Smart Tourism competition, following a jury meeting in Brusselson 24 September 2018. The official Award Ceremony will take place at theEuropean Tourism Day conference, organised by the European Commission on 7November 2018 in Brussels.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative based on a proposal fromthe European Parliament, which secured its funding for 2018 - 2019 through aPreparatory Action. The initiative focuses on strengthening tourism generatedinnovative development in EU cities and their surroundings.
38 Cities from 19 EU Member States had applied to compete for the title but bothHelsinki and Lyon stood out for their innovative tourism measures in all 4 categoriesof the competition, the exciting programme of activities they have put together tocelebrate their achievements and their suitability to act as role models for otherburgeoning smart tourism destinations during 2019.
The seven-member jury, comprising representatives from the EuropeanCommission, European Parliament, European Committee of Regions and the EUMember States: Bulgaria and Austria (holders of the Presidency of the Council ofthe European Union during 2018), decided upon the two European Capitals ofSmart Tourism 2019. Four further cities were announced as the winners in thespecific categories: Accessibility (Málaga), Sustainability (Ljubljana), Digitalisation(Copenhagen) and Cultural Heritage & Creativity (Linz). These four cities will berecognised with European Smart Tourism Awards.Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska responsible for Internal Market, Industry,Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "I congratulate Helsinki and Lyon for theoutstanding solutions that they put in place to make tourism in their cities smart andinnovative. Our objective at EU level is to foster the sustainable development oftourism by showcasing innovative solutions from EU cities in tourism. We believethat the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative will help to establish aframework of exchange of good practices between European cities, includinglearning from each other and networking, creating opportunities for cooperation andnew partnerships. Tourism is important for the EU economy so we all need to worktogether more effectively to be more competitive and grow in a sustainable way".
Throughout 2019, Helsinki and Lyon will be given EU wide visibility. Both cities willbe provided with expert communication and branding support, which will include theproduction of promotional videos, the installation of a purpose-built sculpture andbespoke promotional activities.All of the winning cities will be awarded at the European Tourism Day on 7November 2018 – a major EU tourism event - and featured at the exhibition whereseveral hundred participants from all over Europe will have the opportunity todiscover their best practices in the field of smart tourism. To view the programmeand register for the event, please click here.For those not in Brussels in November, stay tuned for the exciting programme ofevents and activities taking place in the European Capitals of Smart Tourism during2019.