EC Shortlists Cities for 2024 European Capital, Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism Awards

The European Commission has unveiled the shortlisted cities for the 2024 European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism competitions. The two awards will go to destinations that demonstrate a commitment to shaping the future of smart and sustainable tourism.

From a pool of 30 candidates spanning 17 countries, the selected finalists for the European Capital of Smart Tourism are in alphabetical order, Bremerhaven (Germany), Cork (Ireland), Dublin (Ireland), Genoa (Italy), Helsingborg (Sweden), and San Sebastián (Spain). The shortlist for the 2024 finalists now comprises six destinations, instead of the initially mentioned four, due to a tie score. Essen (Germany), Gdynia (Poland), Odense (Denmark), Padua (Italy), and Parma (Italy) are designated as runner-up cities.

For the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism the following destinations, presented in alphabetical order, impressed the panel of independent sustainability experts with their applications and were selected from 11 applicant destinations: Grevena (Greece), Grosseto (Italy), Karawanken-Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark (Austria/Slovenia), and Valongo (Portugal).

The shortlisted cities will be invited to present their candidatures in front of a European Jury, who will select the 2024 European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism. The awardees will receive communication and branding support throughout 2024. This includes a promotional video, and tailored promotional actions designed to increase visibility at EU and global level and increase the number of visitors.

The competitions welcomed participation from cities and destinations within the European Union and non-EU countries that are eligible to the “Single Market Programme.” The applications were evaluated by a rigorous panel of independent experts.

Introduced in 2018, the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition has provided a platform to highlight exceptional practices and achievements. The winners from previous editions include Seville and Pafos (2023), València and Bordeaux (2022), Málaga and Gothenburg (2020), and Helsinki and Lyon (2019). These cities have emerged as exemplary models for smart tourism in Europe, earning prominent international rankings for sustainability, innovation, quality of life, and the effective incorporation of smart strategies.

The European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism is the successor of the European Destination of Excellence EDEN) competition which was first introduced by the European Commission in 2007 to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe. Being designated as the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2024 would serve as inspiration to other tourism destinations in Europe. Additionally, it would enhance the winning city’s profile as a top travel destination, attracting visitors and promoting sustainable economic growth.

For more information, visit

Related Stories

Stats: Europe Draws in Long-haul Travelers Despite Rising Costs

Avoya Holds Annual Conference, Million Dollar Showcase Event

Paris Insider: Four Great Museum Exhibitions for Fall 2023

CIBT Introduces New Visa and Travel Document Service