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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The principles of EDEN as of 2022

The European Destination of Excellence competition addresses smaller tourism destinations, which can showcase their outstanding achievements in sustainability and inspire other tourism destinations in their green transition. The umbrella theme for the competition is "Sustainable tourism".


Year 2022

The principles of EDEN 2007-2019

The principle of EDEN is simple: every other year a theme is chosen by the European Commission in close cooperation with national tourism authorities. Eligible destinations have to show that an economically viable tourism offer has been developed based on that year’s EDEN theme. Per each participating country one destination is selected as a winner, alongside 4 runners-up.

Each theme serves to showcase Europe's diversity, including its natural resources, historical heritage, traditional celebrations and local gastronomy. The topics are always related to sustainable tourism development, whether from a cultural, economic, environmental or local involvement point of view.

The destinations have the chance to show off what makes them unique and show tourists that an unforgettable experience awaits them. The winning destinations are the emerging, non-traditional destinations that best reflect the chosen theme of the year and that offer a unique tourism experience, in line with sustainable models.

                2019: Health and well-being tourism

                Winning destinations

                2017: Cultural Tourism

                2015: Tourism and local gastronomy

                2013: Accessible tourism

                2011: Tourism and regeneration of physical sites

                2010: Aquatic tourism

                2009: Tourism and protected areas

                2008: Tourism and local intangible heritage

                2007: Best emerging European rural destination of excellence