In May 2023, the European Commission announced that the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism will be the successor of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition which was first introduced in 2007 as an initiative to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe.
More information about the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism 2024 competition
Following a Jury meeting on 9 November 2022, Kranj was announced as 2023 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN).
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The EDEN initiative
The European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) initiative rewards and promotes sustainable tourism practices in smaller tourist destinations.
Since 2007, the European Commission has supported EU countries in rewarding non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe through the EDEN award. The initiative aimed to foster sustainable tourism destination management models across Europe by selecting and promoting EDEN destinations.
The EU Green Deal, our commitment to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, and the focus on circular economies, will drive changes in the tourism industry. The ecosystem will need to change how it operates, including how destinations are managed, to deliver sustainable and quality experience to visitors.
We modified EDEN for position winning destinations to stand out as tourism sustainability pioneers, committed to European Green Deal objectives and seeking to inspire other European tourism destinations in their green transition practices.
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
Each year, the EDEN competition will name one ‘European Destination of Excellence’, an accolade that will signal a destination’s forward-thinking approach and identify them as a sustainable tourism pioneer. Destinations in EU countries and COSME countries with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply.
Kranj was selected as the 2023 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN).
We shortlisted three additional destinations for the 2023 competition. See our destinations page for more details.
Small, sustainable, the future of tourism: European Destination of Excellence.