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The EU is looking for the European Destination of Excellence 2023

Last updated on 1 April 2022


Today, the European Commission launches the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2023 competition. This initiative rewards the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations across Europe.

The European Destinations of Excellence is an EU initiative, implemented by the European Commission. Its aim is to recognise and award smaller destinations that have in place successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.

The competition is founded upon the principle of promoting the development of sustainable tourism in destinations which brings value to the economy, the planet, and the people. The current 2022 European Destination of Excellence, Middelfart (Denmark) serves as the inaugural holder of the new and improved initiative and as a sustainable tourism pioneer throughout Europe.

In order to compete for the 2023 European Destination of Excellence title, destinations are asked to demonstrate their best practices in sustainable tourism and green transition. The competition covers EU countries as well non-EU countries participating in the COSME programme1.

Applications will first be evaluated by a panel of independent sustainability experts. In the second step, 3 shortlisted cities will be asked to present their city’s candidature in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will select one winner, the European Destination of Excellence 2023, which will be announced in November 2022.

The winning destination will be positioned as a sustainable tourism pioneer committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will receive expert communication and branding support at the EU level throughout 2023.

To apply, destination representatives are asked to complete an online form. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2022 at 17:00 CET.

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