The European Commission has launched the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2023 competition. This initiative rewards the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations in Europe.
The European Destinations of Excellence aims to recognize and reward smaller destinations that have implemented successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through ecotourism transition practices. The competition is based on the principle of promoting sustainable tourism development in destinations that add value to the economy, the planet, and the people.
The current European Destination of Excellence in 2022, Middelfart (Denmark), is the inaugural holder of this new and improved initiative and a pioneer of sustainable tourism in Europe. Linking Jutland and Funen, the town of Middelfart with a population of 15,000 stands as a proud historic link between two of the many islands of Denmark. Situated on the banks of the Little Belt, Middelfart remains a historic and culturally important destination in Denmark and Europe.
Focusing on sustainable tourism, Middelfart is carving out a new reputation not only bridging Danish cultural history but pioneering sustainability in Europe. Middelfart is developing collaborative synergy across the board by prioritizing water quality, climate protection and sustainability, benefiting residents, urban development, the economy and visitors.
By creating awareness, Middelfart ensures a broad transfer of knowledge on sustainable tourism. Measures for flora and fauna in wildlife environments enable a secure and unique experience for visitors while also safeguarding the attraction. To maintain this attractive environment, Middelfart offers a wide range of climate-related education for all stakeholders, interested parties and tourists.
To compete for the title of European Destination of Excellence 2023, they must demonstrate their best practices in sustainable tourism and ecological transition. The competition covers EU countries and non-EU countries participating in the COSME Program. Applications will first be assessed by a panel of independent sustainability experts. In the second phase, 3 shortlisted cities will be invited to present their application before the European Jury. The European Jury will select one winner, the European Destination of Excellence 2023, to be announced in November 2022.
The winning destination will be highlighted as a pioneer of sustainable tourism committed to the objectives of the European Green Pact and will receive expert communication and branding support at EU level during 2023. To formalize their application, destination representatives must complete an online form. The deadline for applications is June 1st, 2022 at 17.00 CET.