Santa Lucija one of twenty winners of European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN)
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Last Thursday the 18th of September Santa Lucija, Hamlet of Kercem, was awarded the European Destination of Excellence. They represented Malta for the second edtion of EDEN 20072008.
European Commission Vice-President Gunter Verheugen awarded twenty localities with the title of "best local intangible heritage destination in Europe" on the occasion of the 7th European Tourism Forum in Bordeaux. The European Destinations of Excellence awards promote venues where commercial success goes hand in hand with social, cultural and environmental sustainability.
The number of countries participating in EDEN doubled in the second edition of EDEN 2007-2008 (18 Member States and 2 Candidate Countries) under the theme ‘tourism and local intangible heritage.’ Specific local intangible heritage such as local cuisine, handicrafts, local arts or village life were rewarded today.
The European Commission will be giving additional exposure to the winning destinations in order to highlight the destinations’ traditions, customs, ideas, tastes, arts and crafts. For example, the representatives of all the winning destinations have been invited to participate in the European Day of Tourism, which will be organised in the framework of the Open Days event on the 7th of October 2008 in Brussels. The winners will also officially sign a declaration setting up the Network of EDEN destinations.
This year’s EDEN awards were held in Bordeaux as part of the European Tourism Forum, which is being organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the French Presidency of the European Union and offers a discussion forum for authorities, European stakeholders and delegations from Member States. It also included an informal ministerial meeting of EU tourism ministers.
Throughout the two-day gathering, participants discussed the issue of the competitiveness of Europe’s tourism offer in view of the evolving world and specifically emerging markets’ tourism demand trends, and the requirements of sustainability and quality of tourism employment in the EU.
The full list of winners is shown below: