EDEN – European Destinations of Excellence

EU funding opportunities

Applications for the new EDEN 2022 competition are now open.

The European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) is an EU initiative, implemented by the European Commission, aimed at recognising and award smaller destinations that have implemented successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.

First introduced by the European Commission in 2007 as an initiative to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe, the initiative has now been redesigned and updated in line with the European Green Deal and is set to contribute to the recovery and resilience of tourism destinations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EDEN initiative aims to:

  • showcase the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices across smaller European destinations;
  • promote the development of sustainable tourism in destinations, bringing value to the economy, the planet and the people;
  • establish a framework for participating destinations to exchange best practices and create opportunities for cooperation and new partnerships.

The green transition practices should be related to one or more of the following aspects:

  • Managing / protecting natural resources in your tourism destination fully respecting environment and biodiversity;
  • Implementation of resource efficiency measures, more sustainable consumption (waste, water, energy);
  • Measures aimed at reducing tourism seasonality;
  • Implementation of a scheme to measure sustainability of tourism destination;
  • Implementing measures aimed at climate adaptation;
  • Involvement of local communities, including social inclusion, through tourism, linking visitors with locals (sharing history, gastronomy, protection of nature…);
  • Balanced economic performance of tourism including sharing revenues with local communities, contribution to local employment, contribution to diversification of local economies, returning tourism revenues into local development.

The competition is open to towns in EU countries and COSME countries, with between 25,000 and 100,000 inhabitants.

A maximum of 3 destinations with the highest overall score will be shortlisted as finalists.

The winner of the European Destinations of Excellence 2022 title will be recognised, across the EU, as a pioneer in sustainable tourism: a smaller destination leading in the transition towards greener tourism.

The winner will receive expert communication and branding support in promoting their destination in the media and online.

The deadline for applications is 16 June 2021 at 17:00 CET.

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