Dublin has been named Smart Tourism European City of the Year 2024

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Dublin has been named Smart Tourism European City of the Year 2024

Dublin Smart Tourism City of the Year 2024
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Dublin’s elegant Georgian buildings, its geographical position on the East Coast of Ireland, lively culture and reputation for being friendly and hospitable have ensured the city’s status as an attractive tourist destination; despite its popularity, the city has not been complacent…

Since 2019 the council and tourism board have been looking at how they can ensure tourism remains engaging, sustainable and inclusive. This resulted in a five-year strategy set out in 2023 which focused on People, Culture, Sustainability and Innovation amongst other areas and Dublin’s inventive and sustainable approach to tourism has resulted in the city being awarded the Smart Tourism European City of the Year 2024 beating 30 other city candidates submitted to the European jury.

Barry Rogers, who is head of the Dublin City Tourism unit, felt it was hugely important to focus on people and place and “what it means to be Irish” so they have involved local residents to share their personal experiences of the city and host guided tours.

The city has also employed technology inventively. The Dublin Discovery Trails app allows you to walk through modern-day Dublin while accessing, in real-time, augmented reality portals that immerse you in past events at the very same geographical sites.

The Award-winning EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, at Custom House Key, has also embraced technology as the world’s first fully digital Museum, which aims to explain why there are 70 million people around the world who have heritage links to Ireland. The Guinness Storehouse has also used some digital innovations to develop a tour with Ireland’s National Autism Charity ASIAM, and there is a wider ambition for Dublin to become the world’s first autism-friendly capital by 2026.

One of the centrepieces of Dublin’s cultural tourism trail is the more traditional 14 Henrietta Street Museum. This Dublin Georgian townhouse was built over 300 years ago for aristocratic owners but its subsequently chequered history eventually led to it becoming a multi-occupancy tenancy building within the living memory of many Dubliners. The building was rescued from complete dereliction as a direct result of the Dublin City Heritage Plan 2002 – 2006. Much of the restoration and conservation of this building was funded by Dublin City Council and has been carried out with great sensitivity to reflect the changing life and occupancy of the building. Like many of the other tourism programmes in Dublin, the story of the building has been told very effectively through the eyes of the people who created it, built it, and lived in it–leading to a unique Ireland experience for visitors and helping the city gain Smart Tourism European City of the Year 2024