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Submissions open for the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition

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Aerial view of the city of Helsinki
Helsinki (pictured) and Lyon won the inaugural competition and jointly held the 2019 titles | Photo: Julius Jansson

The European Commission has launched the 2024 edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism, as well as the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism competitions and is inviting cities to submit their leading examples of smart and sustainable tourism practices in Europe.

Tourism is the EU‘s third largest socio-economic activity, representing around 10% of the EU’s GDP. The sector plays a crucial role in generating growth and jobs, but still holds untapped potential – especially in the area of smart and sustainable tourism. Innovation, accessibility, and sustainability are the future of tourism, and the European Commission aims to keep European tourism ahead of the curve. 

In a change to previous editions, this year there will be only one winning city in the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024 competition. Additionally, the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism is now the successor of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN)competition.

In order to compete for the 2024 titles, cities with a population of over 100.000 are asked to demonstrate their innovative tourism practices and submit their applications using an online form. Applications will first be evaluated by a panel of independent experts. In the second step, shortlisted cities will be asked to present their city’s candidature in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will select two winners, the ‘European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024’ and the ‘European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2024’, which will be announced in November – December 2023. 

Both competitions are open to cities across both the EU, as well as the non-EU countries that take part in the COSME and Single Market programmes1.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism competition has a proven track record of success. The 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism is the fifth edition of the competition. Pafos and Seville are the 2023 Capitals, Bordeaux and València were selected as the 2022 Capitals, Gothenburg and Málaga as the 2020 Capitals, while Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and jointly held the 2019 titles.

The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024 will benefit from communication and branding support throughout 2024 which will tell the story of the outstanding smart and innovative practices that made it stand out and win. This will include the production of a promotional video, a large hashtag sculpture to install in a prominent location, diverse promotional activities and visibility at EU level and internationally. The winner will also have the chance to join a growing and active network of smart destinations that were shortlisted in the four previous editions of the competition, exchange best practices and learn from one another.

For more information and to submit an application for the contest, visit the European Capital of Smart Tourism Guide for Applicants.

EuroNewsweek is a dynamic news platform featuring lifestyle, sustainability, successful stories, tech, leadership, creative marketing, business, and the unstoppable people behind them.

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Officers implement new tactics to protect women in central London

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Officers implement new tactics to protect women in central London
On a recent patrol officers stopped eight men who raised suspicions, subsequently arresting six of them for offenses

Met officers patrolling the London West End are now using new training to identify predatory behavior, addressing concerns for the safety of women and girls.

The training, originally developed for counter-terrorism policing, equips officers to spot signs and behavioral cues of potential offenders. It has been rolled out to officers patrolling London streets to protect women and girls at risk of violence.

This initiative is part of the Met’s proactive operation, ‘Project Vigilant’, where officers conduct plain-clothed patrols, monitor live CCTV, and have uniformed officers on standby to respond and intervene when necessary.

“The Met is committed in tackling sexual offenders and rebuilding trust amongst women and girls in local communities. It is devastating that women and girls are not able to enjoy a night out with friends due to the potential harm they could face at the hands of predatory men. We remain focused in creating a safe space for women and girls and encourage all victims of violence or sexual violence come forward to help bring offenders to justice,” says Sargeant Augustine Anyaegbuna of the Westminster neighbourhood team.

On the most recent Vigilant patrol, officers stopped eight men who raised suspicions. Six of these were subsequently arrested for offenses including sexual assault, drug possession, robbery, and theft.

Beyond the streets of the capital, domestic abuse remains a significant issue across the country. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, an estimated 2.1 million people aged 16 and over (1.4 million women and 751,000 men) experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2023.

However, the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics shows a slight decrease in domestic abuse-related prosecutions. There were 51,288 prosecutions in England and Wales for the year ending March 2023, down from 53,207 in the previous year.

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Channel 4’s Writers Scheme Welcomes 20 UK Authors

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Channel 4's New Writers Scheme Welcomes 20 UK Authors
Twenty people from across the UK have joined a Channel 4 scheme designed to work with TV drama writers

Twenty people from across the UK have joined a Channel 4 scheme designed to work with TV drama writers in the West and South West of England and Wales, North of England, and Scotland – providing them with months of expert industry training, mentoring and support to develop their first pilot episode-spec script.

4Skills launched this year’s New Writers Scheme last week with an aim to nurture underrepresented writing talent, focussing on diverse, regional and authentic voices who have a flair for television drama.

Following the successful pilot in the West and South West of England in 2022, the programme has since expanded to work with participants located near Channel 4’s regional hubs: Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds. The writers will benefit from nine months of expert industry training and mentoring from scripted indies and a script editor, alongside feedback from Channel 4. 

As part of the kick-off, screenwriters from the regional hubs met at Channel 4’s Leeds office for three days of introductions, writing tips and training with NFTS trainer Hannah Robinson and heard from the experts including Nicola Shindler, Danny Brocklehurst, Helen Black and Director of Film4 & Channel 4 Drama, Ollie Madden.

“It was very exciting to meet with such a talented group of writers, who all bring an incredible depth of creativity, specificity and passion to their projects. I am truly looking forward to seeing how this year’s cohort develop their skills in the months ahead,” says Ollie Madden, Director of Film4 & Channel 4 Drama. 

The New Writers Scheme is funded and developed by 4Skills with Channel 4 Drama and supported by the BFI NETWORK (Film Hub South West and Film Hub North) alongside support from Screen Scotland. 

The initiative is one of many projects being supported by 4Skills, which provided more than 57,000 learning, training or development opportunities in 2023.

Kevin Blacoe, Channel 4’s Head of Partnerships & Skills, Nations & Regions said:

4Skills is designed to open doors for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds and various regions across the UK, providing opportunities for those who typically wouldn’t have access to the behind-the-scenes world of television.

By guiding them as they advance in their careers, we are also investing in the future of television. Our goal is to ensure that every voice, both on-screen and off, is heard and valued.”

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Go North East sponsor Durham Cricket’s Visually Impaired Team

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Go North East sponsor Durham Cricket's Visually Impaired Team
Durham’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team now plays in the England and Wales Cricket Board Development League | Photo: Gavin Forster

Go North East has announced the continuation of its partnership with Durham Cricket as the front-of-shirt sponsor of their Visually Impaired team until 2025.

First founded in June 2007, Durham’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team now plays in the England and Wales Cricket Board Development League, against 11 other teams.

Visually Impaired (VI) cricket is a specially adapted version of the game that is suitable for anyone with a visual impairment – whether partially sighted or totally blind.

Ben Maxfield, Business Director, commented, “We are thrilled to be supporting the Visually Impaired Team at Durham Cricket again this year. At Go North East, we are dedicated to making our services accessible to everyone, and our buses are equipped with next-stop audio announcements to assist visually impaired passengers. This sponsorship is a natural extension of our commitment to inclusivity and supporting our community. We look forward to seeing the team’s success in the coming season.”

Tom Seymour, the Commercial Director for Durham Cricket said, “We are delighted to have Go North East, a local company connecting the region, renew their partnership and sponsorship of the Visually Impaired Team.”

He continued, “We’d like to thank them for their continued support for this programme and further showing the commitment we have here at Durham Cricket in creating an inclusive and welcoming space in the sport.”

For more information about the team, visit Visually Impaired Cricket – Durham Cricket

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