Valencia (Spain) and Bordeaux (France) have been named European Capitals of Smart Tourism for 2022, following a jury meeting by the European Commission in Brussels. The award is an EU initiative, boosting the profiles of European locations as smart tourism destinations.
The 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism is the third edition of the competition. This initiative rewards European cities for outstanding, innovative and sustainable tourism practices. The initiative is managed by the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. It is supported by the COSME programme and results from a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament.
Valencia was awarded the honour based on various key criteria. The city aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, while tracking the carbon footprint of its tourism activity. Valencia has also launched Sustainable Action Plans, with strategies to lower CO2 emissions, boost the use of electric vehicles, promote energy efficiency, and provide sustainable food options.
Meanwhile, Bordeaux was described as “proudly eco-friendly and innovative”. Famed for being the largest wine-growing region in the world, Bordeaux has worked to keep this industry sustainable. More than 65% of the city’s vineyard surface area has been certified for environmental efforts, while €1.2 million has been invested to keep wine production eco-friendly.
Both cities have also made commitments for the disabled. Bordeaux’s trams are 100% accessible, while a special guide has been launched by the Tourist Office for those with disabilities. In Valencia, representatives work with PREDIF (State Representative Platform of People with Physical Disability). 52 of Bordeaux’s tourist entities and companies cooperate with inclusive tourism requirements.
With these titles, Valencia and Bordeaux will receive branding support throughout 2022. Among the support is tailored promotional initiatives, intended to boost the cities’ profiles and visitor numbers.