The 2022 European Capitals of Smart Tourism, Bordeaux and Valencia embark on their year fostering smart tourism growth and experiences in Europe. With a shared culture of excellence in the digitalization, sustainability, accessibility as well as cultural heritage and creativity, both cities are the forefront of shaping the future of smart tourism in Europe. Smart Tourism Europe Valencia Bordeaux
The smart tourism experience in both Bordeaux and València is represented through the series of excellent best practices that the cities demonstrate as smart tourism leaders in Europe. Each visit to the cities ensures that the question: what is smart? Is not left unanswered.
Starting with València, 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism, the smart tourism experience beings before tourists have even visited the city. With Valencia’s new Tourism Intelligence System (SIT), a comprehensive database of tourism figures gathered by the city, relevant stakeholders and businesses are able to provide optimised offerings and opportunities based on real-time and comprehensive data. As a forerunner in sustainable tourism, València offers tourists the opportunity to enjoy a city that takes the future of the planet into account. Over the last two years, the Spanish city became the first city in the world to verify its tourism carbon and water footprint, an initiative that is key to València’s Sustainable Tourism Strategy to make the city a carbon-neutral tourist destination by 2025. In addition, by equipping their tourist offices with the latest Visualfy systems, València offers tourist information in an inclusive and innovative fashion.
As a coastal city, the smart tourism experience of València must include the beach. Through its participation in the MITOMED project, València has developed an integrated management model of coastal and maritime tourism to measure the sustainability of tourism activities and their social and economic results and impacts. Furthermore, within the MITOMED framework, València has equipped its seashores with walkways and accessibility features, all of them being measured and constantly updated to deliver the best sustainable and user-friendly experience on its beaches.
Bordeaux, 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism, is where the smart tourism experience is sustainable and local with an emphasis on innovative urban regeneration. The French city is a champion of producing new economic, cultural, and social changes that enrich the city’s urban landscape. That is the case of the Darwin Ecosystem, a complex of abandoned military barracks turned into coworking space, and Les Bassins à Flot, a former industrial wasteland converted into prosperous new district for residents and tourist alike to experience and enjoy. As a smart tourism capital, the experience ensures that accessibility is top priority, the Tourist office has developed specialised guides with information about all services available to people with reduced mobility. Bordeaux boasts a transport network that is 100% wheelchair accessible, and many areas of the city have been adapted for use by individuals of reduced mobility and with human assistance.
For gamers and young visitors alike, Bordeaux offers an innovative exploration of the area through the mobile app, Terra Aventura, users can discover the natural and cultural heritage of many different places. For a more traditional smart tourism experiences, the webzine ‘Un air de Bordeaux‘, created by residents for everyone the website hosts an array of activities and events as well as experiences that come directly from the public living in Bordeaux.
Bordeaux and València at ITB 2022 Smart Tourism Europe Valencia Bordeaux
To kick-start the year, the 2022 European Capitals of Smart Tourism Bordeaux and València along with the winner of the 2022 EDEN initiative Middelfart, took part in this year’s virtual ITB Convention, the world’s leading travel trade show. On 10 March 2022 participants, and attendees of ITB had the opportunity to hear more about the European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative and watch the live presentation titled: “Think Globally, Act Locally: Smart and Sustainable Tourism in Europe“.
‘Leading Examples of Smart Tourism Practices in Europe‘ now online!
The report ‘Leading Examples of Smart Tourism Practices in Europe‘, the go-to guide to smart tourism in the EU, is now available online. The collection of best practices has been derived from the applications the cities submitted to the 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. The report showcases the most innovative projects, ideas and initiatives, in: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation, Cultural heritage and creativity. It aims to raise awareness about smart tourism tools, initiatives and projects, sharing the best practices in tourism implemented by cities and strengthening peer-to-peer learning and innovative development of tourism.