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Patras: This year’s European Destination of Excellence in Greece

Patras city and the Region of Western Greece that includes Achaia, Ileia and Aitoloakarnania Districts received the annual European Commission EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) award. Patras’ entry in the 2016-2017 competition titled ‘Cultural Tourism’ ranked first among other Greek participants.

 


The selection of this area was based on the quality of its cultural resources and the sound documentation in support of its nomination that included
- Promoting this destination during all four seasons,
- Highlighting the area’s major landmarks and sights,
- Showcasing local producers and products, as well as the local cuisine in relation to offered tourist experience, and
- Drawing attention to the area’s singularity and variety of character which can be exploited through a programme implementation for specialized tourist activities.


During this year’s EDEN awards, four additional Greek destinations namely Veroia (Macedonia), Larisa (Thessaly), Dodoni (Epirus) and Tinos (Cyclades) ranked high in the contestant list right below the winner.
Along all other European destinations that received the EDEN award, Patras too will enjoy great publicity across the continent through the related initiatives of the European Commission.


What is EDEN?
The European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) programme of the European Commission was set up in 2006. It focuses on highlighting the values, variety and common characteristics of European tourist destinations as well as on promoting areas where tourist development contributes to the social, cultural, economic and environmental welfare of the district. The programme is also aimed at furthering and strengthening connections among European citizens.


The project is based on national competitions that take place every two years and lead to the selection of a tourist “Destination of Excellence” as well as the next four highest ranked non- winning areas for each participating country. This European quest for excellence in tourism focuses on a separate theme each time which is decided by the Commission, in collaboration with the tourist national agencies in each country.


The most important feature of selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability. The award is offered to emerging, as yet unknown destinations in European member states or in candidate countries. The EDEN programme contributes to sustainable practices being implemented in the selected destinations across the European Union, which will turn them into visitor hotspots throughout the year.

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