Cultural Heritage as an Asset for Responsible and Sustainable Tourism

About the Awards

​Cultural tourism is the fastest growing sector of European tourism and can contribute both to the sustainability and competitiveness of tourism in the European Union and beyond and to the sustainable future of heritage sites and local communities.

Cultural tourism products and services are important factors for sustainable development, contributing to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, the extension of the tourism period as well as increasing heritage awareness of tourists and host communities, and regional GDP and its multiplier effects.

These Awards enhance the visibility of European cultural tourism destinations, create a E u r o p e - w i d e platform for sharing experience and knowledge and promotes networking between destinations.

The Award Contest is open to tourist destinations across Europe, for showcasing results and outputs regarding cultural tourism.

The Award contest is based on an existing contest which has been organised since 2014 by ECTN around annual themes for the benefit of destinations, communities, businesses, citizens and visitors.

This special edition of the Awards for Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism in Europe is organised by ECTN in partnership with Europa Nostra and the European Travel Commission, as a contribution to​ the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.

Call for Entries

The 2018 theme contributes to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH 2018), and in particular to one of the ten European Initiatives, namely “Tourism and heritage: promoting sustainable and responsible cultural tourism”.

The Award will be given for achievements by cultural tourist destinations which have produced significant results related to enhancing visitor experience while respecting traditions and involving local communities.

The Awards will cover the following heritage-related aspects of cultural tourism:

1. Religious and Pilgrimage

2. Coastal and Maritime

3. Cultural Landscapes

4. Industrial and Military

5. Historic Houses, Villages and Cities

6. Transnational Thematic Products

7. Contributions by Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs).

The applicants must address one of the above aspects. Award winners will be recognised as examples of excellence inspiring other tourism destinations and stimulating further development of sustainable and responsible cultural tourism initiatives.

Award winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony to be held during the 11th International Conference for Cultural Tourism on the theme “Cultural Heritage as an Asset for Responsible and Sustainable Tourism”, to be organised by ETCN on 25-27 October 2018 in Pafos, Cyprus.  The finalists will be invited to the ECTN Conference 2018 and to the Awards ceremony.  The organiser and partners will not reimburse any costs for attending the Awards ceremony.

Who can apply?

The Awards are open to all tourist destinations across Europe, local and regional authorities, tourism boards and associations, destination management organisations, cultural NGOs.

Awards Jury

The Awards Jury will be composed of relevant experts from various European countries, to be appointed by ECTN, Europa Nostra and the European Travel Commission. The Jury’s decision shall be final. The Jury will not accept requests for additional information or justification of their decision once the awardees have been selected.

Awards Criteria

The Awards Jury will assess the quality of all applications according to the following criteria:

1. Relevance to the EYCH2018 objectives

2. Technical content of actions

3. Evidence of success

4. Sustainability of the actions

5. Ability to attract visitors from outside Europe to lesser known destinations

6. Synergies with silver tourism, family tourism and/or youth tourism activities

7. Involvement of the local community.

This is non-profit initiative. Therefore, the Awards do not consist of any type of monetary prize and does not aim to give any type of economic advantage to the applicants and winners. No financial or contractual obligations will arise neither for ECTN, nor for the partner organisations, Europa Nostra and the European Travel Commission.

The Awards organiser and partners or their members and employees or contractors shall not be responsible nor liable in negligence or otherwise howsoever in respect of any inaccuracy or omission in the Awards procedure. They shall not be liable for any direct or indirect or consequential loss or damage caused by or arising from any information or inaccuracy or omission herein. They also shall not be liable for any use of the information concerning the Awards.

Deadline for submission: 1 July 2018

Find out more about ECTN Awards 2018, award criteria, how to submit application form and other useful information