The 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism Gothenburg and M

|Feb 20|magazine12 min read

The EU is supporting European cities to develop and promote smart tourism

BRUSSELS, Feb. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism Gothenburg and Málaga will be taking part in this year's ITB in Berlin, the world's leading travel trade show. On 4 - 8 March 2020, the two cities will be showcasing their smart tourism initiatives and best practices at the European Capital of Smart Tourism stand (Hall 1.1, Stand 222) supported by the EU.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative, which recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four award categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation, as well as cultural heritage and creativity. The initiative promotes the development of smart tourism in European cities, aims to strengthen destinations and facilitates the exchange of best practices. The initiative is managed by the European Commission, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and results from a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament.

Visitors to the ITB will have the opportunity to hear more about the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative, meet representatives of Gothenburg and Málaga and learn what made both cities stand out to become 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. – Join us at the press event, taking place on Thursday 5th March at 16:30 at the European Capital of Smart Tourism stand (Hall 1.1, Stand 222).

In addition, the representatives of Gothenburg and Málaga will be showcasing their cities' smart tourism initiatives and how they are addressing the current challenges in the tourism sector on the following occasions:

  • Málaga's Deputy Mayor, Maria Rosa Sanchez Jimenez, at the Málaga City stand on 4 March at 10:00-10:30 (Hall 2.1b, Stand 124).
  • Gothenburg's Press & Corporate Communications Manager, Stefan Gadd, at the ITB TTA Forum on 4 March at 15:00-15:30 (eTravel Lab/ Hall 7.1b)

Gothenburg and Málaga show exemplary achievements throughout all four categories of the initiative and impressed the European Jury both with the activities they intend to implement in 2020 and their capacity to act as a role model for other cities.

Gothenburg works together with a wide variety of stakeholders and sectors to implement a truly integrated approach to smart tourism. The city stands out for its digital offering that is helping to improve experiences for both citizens and tourists. This includes future-oriented solutions for traffic and transport, open data, as well as exemplary sustainability measures.

Málaga has transformed from a sun-and-sea tourism hotspot into an innovative tourism destination, successfully incorporating the concepts of sustainability, accessibility, innovation and culture into its smart tourism strategies and actions. The coastal city has a strong focus on using novel technologies to improve the visitor experience and boost the innovative capacity of local businesses.

Find out more about the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism here:

A selection of the most innovative projects, ideas and initiatives, submitted by cities competing for the 2019 and 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism, can be found in the Compendium of Best Practices, the go-to guide to smart tourism in the EU.

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Notes to Editors:

1.  Smart tourism responds to new challenges and demands in a fast-changing sector, including the expectation of digital information, products and services; equal opportunities and access for all visitors; sustainable development of the local area; and support to creative industries and local talent.

2.  The 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition was open to submissions from 26 February 2019 to 10 May 2019. Terms and conditions are available at

3.  In the first stage of the competition, a panel of independent experts evaluated applications from 37 cities. As the result of the evaluation, a shortlist of 10 finalist cities was established.  All finalist cities demonstrated excellence across the four competition categories combined.

4.  In the second stage, representatives of the 10 finalist cities presented their candidatures and the programme of activities planned for 2020 in front of the European Jury. The European Jury met on 8 October 2019 in Helsinki and selected two cities, Gothenburg and Málaga, to hold the title of the European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2020. The Award Ceremony took place on 9 October 2019 in Helsinki. The video with the highlights of the Award Ceremony is available here

5.  In addition, four cities received 2020 European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in one of the four categories of the initiative: Breda (The Netherlands) in Accessibility, Gothenburg (Sweden) in Sustainability, Ljubljana (Slovenia) in Digitalisation and Karlsruhe (Germany) in Cultural Heritage and Creativity.

6.  Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and jointly held the titles of 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism.


For further press information, contact:

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