Gothenburg, Sweden, was awarded The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 at a ceremony in Helsinki on 9 October. The title is given by The European Commission aiming at rewarding cities with the smartest, most innovative and inclusive approaches to tourism development.
“This marks the start of a new era for Gothenburg. We are going from smart to smarter, and we intend to be a motor for the entire EU,” said the city’s representative Peter Grönberg.
35 cities from 17 EU-countries took part in the competition that evaluates candidates from four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation and culture & creativity. Ten of them were selected for the final presentation in Helsinki.
In the entry for The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 award, Gothenburg focused on strengths in all four categories and on being ready to share best practices and learnings with other destinations.
Gothenburg is in the digital frontline, with high connectivity and a large number of tech companies. Also, the city is a leader in sustainability, with a number one ranking in the Global Destination Sustainability Index. For example 96% of the public transport runs on sustainable fuels and 95% of the hotel rooms in the city are environmentally certified.
“This is a recognition to all the work and creativity that our local partners put in when it comes to making Gothenburg a smart destination,” said Peter Grönberg, CEO of Göteborg & Co, the destination management organisation of Gothenburg. “We know that investing in sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation, culture and creativity is wise. With the help from the title, we will be an even stronger ambassador for this mindset.”
European Capital of Smart Tourism
The European Commission awards the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 to two European cities with the smartest, most innovative and inclusive approaches to their tourism development. In 2019, Helsinki and Lyon hold the title and in 2020, it will be Gothenburg and Malaga.
The competition is open to cities in the EU with a population over 100,000 inhabitants. In EU countries where no city has more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.
By rewarding exemplary practices of smart tourism, the EU seeks to encourage innovation of tourism destinations, support culturally diverse and inclusive tourism and highlight the multi-faceted contribution of tourism to sustainable development.