On the occasion of the European Commission's package on tourism and transport announced on 13 My 2020, the DESTI-SMART Partnership submitted its mission statement to the European Commission DG GROW, Unit 'Tourism, Emerging & Creative Industries', regarding smart and sustainable tourism mobility towards 'smart destinations'.

The DESTI-SMART mission statement is a s follows:

“The DESTI-SMART Interreg Europe project partnership aims to introduce sustainable and smart mobility solutions, low-carbon transport systems, intermodality improvements, cycling and walking facilities for visitors, with related innovations, at tourist destinations.

These constitute important additions to the 'Smart Destinations' concept and definition, particularly by sustainable and smart tourism mobility as a further criterion and category of the 'European Capital of Smart Tourism' awards.

The above are resulting from relevant interregional cooperation, exchange of experience, capacity building, policy development and policy change in sustainable tourism mobility, towards Smart Destinations” 

In submitting the mission statement on behlaf of the DESTI-SMART Partnership, the Coordinator wrote to the Head of Unit,'Tourism, Emerging & Creative Industries' of DG GROW :

"DESTI-SMART has been initiated as an informal Network of tourist destination authorities and universities/research intitutes interested in sustainable mobility and accessibility in tourism. It was launched in June 2016 at the ECOMM Conference in Athens. Since June 2018 in is also a project in the Interreg Europe interregional cooperation programme, co-funded by ERDF, involving 9 destinations in the EU: Thessaloniki EL - Sardinia IT - Bremerhaven DE - Madeira PT - Hastings UK - Mallorca ES - Vidzeme LV - Lake Balaton HU - Pafos CY, supported by Bournemouth University as an advisory partner. The project started in June 2018 and will be concluded in November 2022.

We believe that 'smart destinations' will be even more appropriate to pursue, albeit with the required precautions against Covid-19 in the future, towards recovery of the EU tourism sector. In this respect, we would argue that smart and sustainable mobility for visitors should ideally be incorporated as a further criterion in the 'European Capital of Smart Tourism' Awards that run in 2018 and 2019 by the European Commission DG GROW. We are very pleased that Accessibility is indeed one of the four criteria, and public transport information features in the Digitalisation category. Although there is a category devoted to Sustainability, this does not include explicit reference to sustainable mobility.

We are very keen to share our DESTI-SMART results with your Unit in due course. In the meantime, we remain at your disposal for any further details you may request.  Looking forward to our cooperation".

Similar submissions will follow to the European Commission DG MOVE (Mobility and Transport), to European Parliament TRAN Committee (Transport and Tourism), to the Committee of the Regions (NAT and COTER Commissions), as well as to UNWTO.