European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN), is a project promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. The project is based on national competitions that take place every year and result in the selection of a tourist “destination of excellence” for each participating country. Through the selection of destinations, EDEN effectively achieves the objective of drawing attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe and promotes networking between awarded destinations.
This European quest for excellence in tourism is developed around an annual theme, chosen by the Commission together with Member States and Candidate Countries. The relevant tourism bodies implement the projects at a national level. The annual themes so far were as follows; Best Emerging Rural Destination, Tourism and Intangible Heritage, Tourism and Protected Areas and Aquatic Tourism. The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability. The recipients of the award are emerging; little known European destinations located in the 27 Member States and candidate countries.
The EDEN project helps to spread the sustainable practices used in the chosen destinations across the European Union and to turn these places into all-year-round venues. The process thus aims to help de-congest, combat seasonality, rebalance the tourist flows towards the non-traditional destinations. The project is also a means by which as platform for the exchange of good practices at European level is created. This networking would in turn assist in persuading other destinations to adopt sustainable tourism development methods.
The EDEN Destinations in Malta and Gozo were: NADUR (2007), SANTA LUĊIJA (2008), MELLIEĦA (2009), SENGLEA (2010), GĦARB (2011), XAGĦRA (2015), QRENDI (2016) and ŻEJTUN (2018).
Currently, the Ministry for Tourism is committed to intensify the awareness of the above.
EDEN destinations via various marketing platforms. In October 2016, the Ministry hosted an International Conference whereby the Malta and Gozo.
EDEN Winners Itinerary and Promotional Video were launched. Future promotional initiatives include modernisation of physical signage at all EDEN destinations, informational brochures and merchandise. In tandem with other stakeholders, the Ministry is committed to use EDENproject to valorise the brand equity of Malta’s emerging destinations with the ultimate aim of enriching and diversifying Malta’s touristic offer.
EDEN 2019 (HAPPY) – Healthy and Peaceful Possibilities Year Round brochure
Malta & Gozo – European Destinations of Excellence winners and runners-up
EDEN 2017 (PEARL) – Promoting European Attractions, Regions and Locations
EDEN Awards Winners Itinerary
EDEN Awards Winners and Runners-up Brochure
EDEN Valorising Eclectic Tangible Cultural Offer brochure
For more information on the European Destinations of Excellence visit the European Commission page here.