Seven cities have been shortlisted for the two spots as Europe's Capitals of Smart Tourism for 2023, including three in Spain, and one each in Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia and Denmark.
The finalists are, alphabetically, Aarhus (Denmark), Gijón (Spain), Pafos (Cyprus), Porto (Portugal), San Sebastián (Spain), Seville (Spain), and Zagreb (Croatia). They were selected from 29 candidates from thirteen countries. The two final selections will be announced in October.
The two winning cities, to be selected based on their submitted proposals, will receive support in promoting start tourism approaches in accessibility, digitalization, sustainability, cultural heritage and creativity. The program is funded by the EU through its COSME program.
Support includes marketing support, a promotional video and a specially-designed hashtag sculpture for the city to display, aiming to increase the city's visibility at EU and global levels and, of course, increase visitors. The program's other aim is for the selected cities to serve as models for others to follow.
Past winners include Helsinki and Lyon (2019), Málaga and Gothenburg (2020), València and Bordeaux (2022).
Image: Bordeaux, one of the 2022 winners