Earlier this year, the European Commission launched a competition to promote 'smart tourism' within the EU.
Yesterday, it was announced that Dublin City beat out five European contenders (Bremerhaven, Germany; Cork, Ireland; Genoa, Italy; Helsingborg, Sweden; San Sebastián, Spain) to win the Smart Tourism Capital Award designation for 2024.
The initiative recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourist destinations in the areas of sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity.
The announcement was made in Brussels with organisers praising Dublin for its commitment to deliver a greener, more accessible, inclusive and innovative city, for both visitors and locals alike.
Speaking on the win, Richard Shakespeare, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council said:
"Our Smart Tourism programme, which was established in 2019 has been sharing, collaborating, and learning from some of the best cities in Europe and embedding this best practice in our own work through our new Tourism Strategy 2023-2028. We will proudly use this designation as a platform to deliver an innovative approach to tourism for Dublin."
A number of new experiences, such as 14 Henrietta Street, EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum as well as digital innovations such as the Dublin Discovery Trails App, cemented the city's win.
The judging panel also seemed to be impressed by Dublin's commitment to sustainability as well as ambitious plans to become the world's first autism-friendly city by 2026.
The European Commission judging panel said: "This city immersed in a rich tapestry of history, is a city full of culture and creativity. Now hailed for its commitment to sustainability and a strategic smart tourism vision and outstanding achievements, it has impressed the jury.
"Over the past year, this city has actively engaged people in decision-making, creating a destination that resonates with its people and embraces innovation at the same time. The city's networking efforts with previous winners reflect a dedication to collaboration, leadership and innovation, and a beating European heart," .
The new Dublin City Council Tourism Strategy 2023-2028 is due to be launched this Thursday 30 November 2023.