The European Capital of Smart Tourism competition is a new initiative by the European Union that aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, network and strengthen destinations, and facilitate the exchange of best practices. The awards were announced in Brussels in September 2018.
38 cities from 19 Member States applied for the evaluation of this year’s first project implementation, of which 10 were selected by the jury of independent experts among the finalists. The winners were selected by a jury comprising representatives from EU institutions, the European Commission, European Parliament, European Committee of Regions and the EU Member States Bulgaria and Austria (holders of the Presidency of the Council of the EU during 2018).
Ljubljana was on the basis of its most important measures and plans in the areas of sustainable development, accessibility, digitization, as well as cultural heritage and creativity, the best capital among 10 finalists in the area of sustainable development. M.Sc. Petra Stušek, the director of Ljubljana Tourism, presented to the jury in Brussels the Green Supply Chain, the tastes of Ljubljana, the project of connecting primary schools with local food producers, zero waste management measures, increasing public green spaces, pedestrian zones and cyclists and public transport networks, the introduction of tourist electric trains, measures for seasonalisation and dispersion of tourist flows, development of cultural districts and others as regards the sustainable development of the city.
“We are extremely proud that a group of experts recognized the efforts of the city of Ljubljana to develop into a modern capital and at the same time remain a human-friendly city. The award puts Ljubljana at the very top of the practices of the past work in the field of sustainable development and exceptional plans for the future, which at the same time enable further economic and social development and preserve the natural environment and resources,” said M.Sc. Petra Stušek, director of Ljubljana Tourism after the announcement of the prestigious award for Slovenia’s capital – one award in the line of many others, including the European Green Capital 2016.