Paphos (Cyprus) and Sevilla (Spain) are the winners of the EU’s 2023 European Capitals of Smart Tourism competition. Kranj (Slovenia) has been selected as the winner of the 2023 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) competition.

The two European Capitals of Smart Tourism will receive promotional support, as well as a purpose-built sculpture for their city centres, which will be displayed prominently for the duration of their year as a European Capital of Smart Tourism. They will also become part of the growing network of smart tourism cities in Europe in view of sharing their experience and best practices. Kranj, as the winner of the European Destination of Excellence  title, will be promoted as a role model for sustainable tourism practices in Europe. It will also benefit from support throughout the year, geared towards promoting Kranj and its best practices in sustainable tourism, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative that promotes smart tourism in the EU by rewarding cities for their pioneering approaches in accessibility, digitalisation, sustainability, and cultural heritage and creativity. Similarly, the European Destinations of Excellence is an EU initiative that recognises and rewards smaller destinations that have put in place successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism. Both initiatives support the efforts to make the European tourism ecosystem more sustainable, smart and resilient, as outlined in the Transition Pathway for Tourism. 

For the 2023 competition, 29 cities from across 13 countries competed for the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism, while a total of 20 destinations competed for the title of European Destination of Excellence. The cities were evaluated by a jury on three criteria: the city’s programme of activities envisaged to implement in 2023; the city’s overall commitment to develop as a smart tourism destination; and the city’s capacity to act as a role model and inspiring other cities. 

For the latest updates on the European Capital of Smart Tourism are available on our websiteFacebook, or Twitter. Podcast series are available on our website. For all the latest news on the European Destinations of Excellence visit the website.

Source: European Commission I Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (