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Brussels, 27 September 2010

Twenty five European Destinations of Excellence in Aquatic Tourism

Twenty five tourist destinations from across Europe were awarded the title of ‘2010 European Destination of Excellence in Aquatic Tourism’ at a Gala Awards ceremony in Brussels today. Scenic waterside locations in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and Turkey received the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) award due to the innovative approaches and sustainable manner in which they managed and promoted their tourism offer. Thus EDEN is enhancing the visibility of emerging and less known destinations in the EU. Moreover the initiative spreads the message of sustainable practices in tourism, promotes under-visited locations and thereby helps to decongest over visited destinations.

Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship said: "These twenty five splendid locations follow eco-friendly measures that constantly respect nature, with an eye to preserving the eco-systems for generations to follow. These mostly coastal, lake and riverside tourism destinations promote innovative approaches for their aquatic tourism offer in such a way as not only to promote a more qualitative environment but also to cope with the seasonality problem and to rebalance the tourist flows towards non-traditional destinations."

The winning locations that received the title of ‘2010 European Destination of Excellence in Aquatic Tourism’ are:

  • Seelentium - the Upper Innviertel region (Austria)

  • The Lakes of Eau d’heure (Belgium)

  • Regional Administration Silistra (Bulgaria)

  • Nin (Croatia), Kato Pyrgos (Cyprus)

  • Bystřicko (Czech Republic), Lake Võrtsjärv (Estonia)

  • Saimaa Holiday (Finland)

  • The Grand Site du Marais Poitevin (France)

  • Western Pomeranian River District (Germany)

  • Prefecture of Serres (Greece)

  • Lake Tisza (Hungary)

  • The Westfjords region (Iceland),

  • Loop Head Peninsula in Co. Clare – Kilkee (Ireland)

  • Municipality of Monte Isola (Italy)

  • Sea Resort Jūrmala (Latvia)

  • Zarasai Region - Heavenly Shore on Earth (Lithuania)

  • The Nature Park of the Upper Sûre (Luxembourg)

  • Isla (Senglea) (Malta)

  • WaterReijk Weerribben Wieden - Giethoorn & the wetlands (The Netherlands)

  • The Biebrza Valley and Wetlands – Wildlife Sanctuary (Poland)

  • Geoagiu Băi (Romania)

  • River Kolpa (Slovenia)

  • A Guarda (Spain)

  • Bitlis-Nemrut Crater Lake (Turkey).

Since 2007 EDEN has been promoting sustainable tourism models across the European Union and candidate countries. The project is based upon national competitions that are held every year and result in the selection of a ‘tourist destination of excellence for each participating country. This European quest for excellence in tourism is developed around an annual theme, chosen by the Commission together with the relevant national tourism authorities. To date the themes have focused on rural tourism (2007), local intangible heritage (2008), protected areas (2009) and this year’s theme of aquatic tourism.

For further information on the EDEN project and previous recipients of the awards


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