Skip to main content
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Awards and outreach activities

Tourism is a major economic activity in the European Union with a big impact on economic growth, employment, and social development. However, it faces several challenges and is now transitioning to become greener, more digital and more resilient. To discuss these various challenges and find solutions together with tourism stakeholders, the European Commission has launched several communication initiatives, be it awards to reward exemplary cities across Europe, partnerships to promote Europe as a destination or the organisation of various events. 

European Capital of Smart Tourism

The European Capital of Smart Tourism recognises outstanding achievements in smart tourism in European cities. Smart tourism responds to new challenges and demands in a fast-changing sector, including the evolution of digital tools, products and services, equal opportunity and access for all visitors, sustainable development of the local area, and support to creative industries, local talent and heritage. See the European Capital of Smart Tourism website.

European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN)

Since 2007, the European Commission has supported EU countries in rewarding non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe through the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) award. The initiative encourages sustainable tourism destination management models across Europe by selecting and promoting EDEN destinations. See the European Destinations of Excellence website. 

Promoting destination Europe

To enhance the visibility of Europe as a tourist destination and increase international tourist arrivals, the European Commission undertakes a wide range of communication and promotion activities. In addition to events and awards, the Commission developed a close link with the European Travel Commission (ETC), a non-profit organisation promoting Europe as an international tourist destination, in particular to non-EU countries.

The ETC gathers 34 European national tourism organisations from 33 European Countries. Since 2012, the Commission has co-financed the marketing and promotion of ‘Destination Europe’ via dedicated annual grants, notably through a joint promotion platform. It is responsible for

As an example of activities for promoting ‘Destination Europe’ and of this collaboration, the Commission mandated the ETC to play a central role in cooperative marketing campaigns during the EU-China Tourism year in 2018

European Tourism Forum

The European Tourism Forum (ETF) is an annual event co-organised with the EU country that holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of the calendar year. The forum’s objectives are political and often linked to an informal meeting of ministers from EU countries responsible for tourism. The Presidency may also consider other high-level tourism events (e.g. Directorate-General meetings).

European Tourism Day

The European Tourism Day (ETD) is an annual event organised by the European Commission during which stakeholders can discuss specific themes, usually based on current policy priorities

Other events

Tourism Spotlight event – EU Industry Days 2022
As part of the EU Industry Days 2022, the Commission organised a tourism spotlight event, as the tourism ecosystem was the first to have its transition pathway published. We presented the tourism transition pathway to stakeholders and launched a call for commitments in view of its co-implementation. 

See the EU Industry Days 2022 tourism spotlight event.

European Tourism Convention – 12 October 2020
The European Tourism Convention initiated a dialogue on sustainable recovery and strategic orientations for the tourism of tomorrow, delivering several documents, reports and outcomes.

See the European Tourism Convention event page.