The European Commission announced the four shortlisted destinations for the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2023 award.
The EDEN initiative rewards the best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations across Europe.
Grevena (Greece), Kranj (Slovenia), Larnaka (Cyprus), and Trikala (Greece) convinced the panel of independent sustainability experts with their applications and were chosen among 20 applicant destinations.
The shortlist for the 2023 finalists includes four destinations instead of three, as initially mentioned, because two destinations were awarded the same scores by the independent panel of sustainability experts.
The European Destinations of Excellence is an EU initiative, implemented by the European Commission. Its aim is to recognise and reward 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 which brings value to the economy, the planet, and the people. The initiative covers the EU and the non-EU countries participating in the COSME programme.
To compete for the 2023 European Destination of Excellence award, destinations were asked to demonstrate their best practices in sustainable tourism and green transition. In the next step, the four shortlisted destinations will be asked to present their candidature in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will select one winner, the European Destination of Excellence 2023, which will be awarded in November 2022.
The winning destination will be positioned as a tourism sustainability pioneer committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will receive expert communication and branding support at the EU level throughout 2023.
 Since 2007, the European Commission has supported EU Member States and other countries participating in the COSME programme to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe through the ‘European Destination of Excellence” (EDEN) award. This action aimed to foster sustainable tourism destination management models across Europe by selecting and promoting EDEN destinations. To date, 176 destinations from 27 different countries have received the award under different annual themes.