Dublin City was declared the winner of the 2024 Smart Tourism Capital Award yesterday. The Irish capital defeated five other contenders for the title: San Sebastián, Spain; Bremerhaven, Germany; Cork, Ireland; Genoa, Italy; Helsingborg, Sweden.
The programme honours exceptional accomplishments made by European cities as travel destinations in the fields of digitalization, accessibility, sustainability, cultural heritage, and innovation.
The announcement was made in Brussels, where the event's organisers commended Dublin for its dedication to creating a city that is more innovative, accessible, inclusive, and green for both tourists and residents.
Richard Shakespeare, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, commented on the victory:
"Since its founding in 2019, our Smart Tourism programme has shared, collaborated with, and learned from some of Europe's best cities, incorporating these best practises into our own work through our new Tourism Strategy 2023-2028. We are excited to use this recognition as a springboard to provide Dublin with an inventive tourism strategy."
The city's victory was solidified by a number of novel experiences, including 14 Henrietta Street, EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, and technological advancements like the Dublin Discovery Trails App.
The judging panel also appeared to be impressed by Dublin's aspirations to become the first autism-friendly city in the world by 2026 and its dedication to sustainability.
"This city, immersed in a rich tapestry of history, is a city full of culture and creativity," the European Commission judging panel stated. It has impressed the jury and is now praised for its dedication to sustainability, strategic smart tourism vision, and outstanding achievements.
"This city has actively involved its citizens in decision-making over the past year, resulting in a destination that appeals to its citizens and welcomes innovation at the same time. The city's attempts to establish connections with past winners demonstrate a commitment to cooperation, innovation, and leadership as well as a strong sense of European identity.