Destination Events

Application for European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2022 is Now Open

New European Destination of Excellence competition to award tourism sustainability pioneers.

Announced by the European Commission on April 22, 2021, the new application for European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2022 is now open.

European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) is an initiative that rewards the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations across Europe.

First introduced by the European Commission in 2007, the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN), is an initiative to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe based on national competitions. The initiative has been redesigned and updated in view of the European Green Deal goals and it will contribute to the recovery and resilience of tourism destinations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers EU countries as well non-EU countries participating in the COSME programme.

Addressed to smaller tourism destinations which can showcase their outstanding achievements in sustainability and inspire other tourism destinations in their green transition, 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.

In order to compete for the 2022 European Destination of Excellence title, destinations are asked to demonstrate their best practices in sustainable tourism and green transition. Applications will first be evaluated by a panel of independent sustainability experts. In the second step, 3 shortlisted cities will be asked to present their city’s candidature in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will select one winner, the European Destination of Excellence 2022, which will be announced in November 2021.

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.

To apply, destination representatives are asked to complete an online form. The deadline for applications is 16 June 2021 at 17:00 CET.

EDEN 2022, Timeline

  • Launch of competition: 22 April 2021
  • Application deadline: 16 June 2021 by 17.00 CET
  • Evaluation period: June – August 2021
  • Announcement of shortlisted finalists: September 2021
  • European jury meeting and announcement of the winner: November 2021

EDEN 2022, Eligibility Criteria

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

EDEN 2022, Benefits of participating

The 2022 European Destination of Excellence will receive expert communication and branding support, as well as promotional actions from the EU. These will help establish the winning town as a leader in the transition towards greener tourism.

  • Recognised as a pioneer : Become a sustainable tourism thought leader and inspire others
  • Put on the map : Be the place to visit in 2022 and enjoy a boost in tourism
  • Marketing boost : Win a year of expert communications and branding support for your town as a tourism destination
    Networking opportunities : Meet and exchange new ideas with other European destinations, policymakers and industry leaders
  • Media profile : Benefit from a host of promotional actions from the EU
EDEN, discover Europe’s hidden sustainable tourist destinations video campaign
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