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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Destination of Excellence 2023


Green team at the heart of sustainable tourism 

Kranj is the third largest city in Slovenia, situated in the northwest of the country and born from a rich history of industrialisation. The city is discovering a new future fueled by the vision of putting sustainability first.

To put the climate first, Kranj has created a green team, consisting of 16 members from various and different institutions throughout the destination. The green team meets regularly to discuss and collect data, formulate strategies and targets, and work together towards synergised sustainable tourism, driven by all factettes of the destination’s management. To complement this, Kranj developed a sustainable tourism project called 'The Kranj Long Table'. It puts an annual focus on local gastronomy and produce while elevating the inclusive community spirit. The event has its carbon footprint measured and is a role model for the promotion and feasibility of sustainable event management.

Kranj continues to explore sustainable tourism measures in collaboration with its stakeholders and partners. To this end, the destination gathers and analyses its data routinely to ensure that the tourism experience does not only remain sustainable but continues to improve and grow.

EDEN 2023 - Shortlisted destinations


A sea and sun destination committed to sustainability

Situated on the southern coast of Cyprus, Larnaka is nestled between the sea and the mountains, focused on delivering a year-round sustainable tourism experience with long-term plans to protect its coastal beauty and environment.

Their year-round tourism includes a programme to upgrade the destination's beaches, by cleaning the sand and the infrastructure supporting the beachfront as well as ensuring accessibility for all visitors. As the beachfront plays a vital role in Larnaka’s tourism, ensuring its protection is a top priority.

But beyond this, Larnaka is home to various sustainable tourism measures that complement maritime and coastal conservation. As a destination with an ever-increasing reliance on renewable energy and a diverse range of cycle paths, Larnaka can offer visitors a vast range of sustainable experiences. Larnaka’s inclusion of stakeholders and businesses to become part of the sustainable movement of the destination helped propel it into a greener future.


A wild natural beauty fighting energy poverty

Grevena, surrounded by mountains, forests, and rivers, is situated in Western Macedonia in northern Greece. The destination is proudly noted as the 'Green City of Geothermal Energy' and strives to make good on harvesting the abundant possibilities that this enables.

Built on a vision of sustainable development, Grevena responded to the call for a new era of climate-friendly energy sources and sustainable strategies by channelling projects that enable energy saving and a reduction in CO2 emissions.

To expand on this, the municipality has fostered an energy infrastructure of geothermal pumps that now help heat all the municipal buildings in Grevena. This, of course, lays a strong foundation for a sustainable tourism experience. Visitors can rest assured that they are stepping into a world of geothermal exploration with Grevena continuing to carry out projects disproportionate to its size as a smaller destination.

The destination uses this knowledge to fight energy poverty and to ensure that, for visitors and residents alike, it provides a climate-friendly environment. Grevena has integrated a climate-friendly and sustainable attitude into its vision for the future.

Since 2007, Grevena has been declared 'The City of Mushrooms', as mushrooms are part of the local culture and have developed into a top brand for Grevena, attracting thousands of visitors all year round.

Trikala (Withdrawn)

Greece’s first digital city is also a green pioneer

Trikala is an all-year-round, sustainable destination in the heart of the Greek countryside. Situated in the north-western Thessaly region and on the banks of the river Pineios, it is populated by traditional Greek architecture and neighbouring the mountain range of south Pindus. As one of the oldest cities in Europe and the home of Asclepius, the father of Medicine, Trikala perfectly combines the old with the new.

Trikala boasts a variety of attractions and a vibrant experience only made better by the sustainable undercurrent that runs through the destination. Being the home of the UNESCO world heritage site Meteora and with hiking trails through the highlands surrounding Trikala, the destination has a vested interest in offering a sustainable tourism experience.

Labelled as Greece’s first 'digital city', Trikala has a proven track record of using modern technology to push for a more sustainable future for its tourism experience. This includes sustainable mobility with its wide-scale demo of autonomous mobility integrated into mixed traffic. Beyond this, the destination regularly measures its carbon footprint and seeks to ensure an ever-growing transition to renewable energy sources. Tourism highlights are being transformed into zero-waste venues with the offering of electric buses so that the tourism experience can remain unchanged and sustainable.

Trikala highlights the necessity of deploying modern technology to combat climate change. The destination uses the available tools and support that IT can offer to improve the tourism experience for residents and visitors alike.