New European Destination of Excellence 2022 competition is now open

The European Commission launches the European Destination of Excellence 2022 (EDEN) competition. The initiative aims to reward the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations across Europe. The deadline for applications is 16 June 2021 at 17:00 CET.

The European Destinations of Excellence is an EU initiative, implemented by the European Commission.

Its aim is to recognise and award smaller destinations that have in place successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.

The competition is founded upon the principle of promoting the development of sustainable tourism in destinations which brings value to the economy, the planet and the people.

EDEN was 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.

In a nutshell, 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 destination showing the most successful strategies or measures to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices, and convincing the European Jury with an exciting programme for the year in which they hold the title, will be awarded the title of "European Destination of Excellence 2022".

In order to compete for the 2022 European Destination of Excellence title, destinations in EU countries and COSME countries with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply and are asked to demonstrate their best practices in sustainable tourism and green transition.

What are the benefits of applying?

The winning destination will be positioned as a tourism sustainability pioneer committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will receive expert communication and branding support at the EU level throughout 2022. This will include a video highlighting the sustainable practices that helped the town stand out. Further the EU will also promote the winning destination to raise the town's profile and boost tourism.

How are the winners selected?

Applications will first be evaluated by a panel of independent sustainability experts.

Then, 3 shortlisted cities will be asked to present their city's candidature in front of the European Jury. Finally, the European Jury will select one winner, the European Destination of Excellence 2022, which will be announced in November 2021.

To apply, destination representatives are asked to complete an online form.

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

See the Apply for EDEN 2022 page for further details and eligibility criteria.

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