EDEN is the acronym for European Destinations of Excellence, 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. EDEN destinations are, at the moment, 140 little known tourist sites or natural areas that are off-the-beaten track awarded by the European Commission for their efforts in sustainable tourism. These destinations represent some of the most stunning and pristine environments on the continent. Since 2007, EDEN has been on a quest to re-discover and promote Europe’s hidden treasures from lush mountain meadows to small community fiestas.
The EDEN Network
The EDEN project aims to create a platform for exchanging good practices at European level and promoting networking between award-winning destinations, thereby persuading other destinations to adopt sustainable tourism development models. The Commission invited the participating countries to work on the Action Plan for the Network of EDEN destinations for the coming years. Setting the aims and objectives will help to create a basis for the actions that need to be carried out in the future.
The 30 winning destinations from the first two EDEN Award editions signed a memorandum of understanding in Brussels on the European Tourism Day 2008, establishing the EDEN Network. The so-called ‘Declaration on a European Network of Destinations of Excellence for Sustainable Tourism,’ was an official commitment to collaborate with each other and exchange information and knowledge around tourism development. After three years of exchanging ideas, a dynamic network has been established. In 2011, member adopted a mission statement and strategy, establishing common ground for a long-term action plan. In January 2012, the EDEN Network Association has been established. From June 2012, the membership of the Network and of the Association has been extended to the runners-up Award. This policy serves the purpose to have a wider collection of destinations while preserving at the same time the strict criteria of sustainability.
What is the EDEN Network AISBL
The EDEN Network AISBL is an international association formed by the most active and forward looking members of the EDEN Network.