Gothenburg and Málaga will be European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2020

Yesterday evening, at the 2019 European Tourism Forum in Helsinki, the Commission and the Finnish Presidency of the Council announced that Gothenburgand Málaga will be the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism. The two winners were chosen out of a total of 35 cities from 17 EU Member States, based on their performance in developing tourism sustainably by protecting the city’s natural resources and cultural heritage, reducing seasonality, including the local community; ensuring accessibility to all visitors, using digital technologies to enhance the tourism experience and helping local businesses grow. Throughout 2020, Gothenburg and Málaga will be given EU-wide visibility and will be provided with support to promote smart tourism in other European cities. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Congratulations to Gothenburg and Málaga. It is so important to promote the exchange of good practices in smart tourism.Cities should learn from one another in how to create jobs and growth in the tourism while preserving their natural resources, highlighting their heritage and improving quality of life for their inhabitants”. In addition, four cities were given a 2020 European Smart Tourism Award for their outstanding achievements in each of the competition’s individual categories: accessibility (Breda, The Netherlands), sustainability (Gothenburg, Sweden), in digitalisation (Ljubljana, Slovenia), and cultural heritage & creativity (Karlsruhe, Germany). With a contribution of 10% to EU GDP, the tourism sector plays a vital role in generating jobs and growth, but still holds untapped potential – especially in the area of smart tourism. With this initiative, the Commission is promoting European tourism as a competitive and sustainable economic sector. It also aims to raise the profile of Europe as a global destination for tourism. More information is available in a news item.