20 countries participated in the competition, and each country has selected one winner and up to 4 runners-up. The winners of the 2015 edition have been selected for their excellence in developing a tourism offer based on their specific local gastronomy.
The winners were announced on European Tourism Day in Brussels, on 16 December 2015. On 17 December 2015, the winners and runners-up officially become part of the EDEN Network.
EDEN 2015 - Tourism and local gastronomy
Europe is one of the world's leading tourist destinations, partly thanks to its high quality gastronomy and the diversity of food produce and local traditions. Food tourism has grown considerably in Europe and has become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism.
According to data of the UNWTO, for about 44% of travellers around the globe, food is one of the three criteria they take into consideration when they decide where to travel. It is one of the top 5 factors driving visitors' satisfaction. 1 in 5 international visitors to Europe are involved in gastronomic activities on their trip.
Apart from good quality food, European gastronomy represents a complete and wide network of activities linked to food and nutrition, namely: restaurants and wineries, cookbooks, shops selling items related to cooking, shops selling food, cooking shows and demonstrations, food advertising, visits to industries producing food, festivals dedicated to a product, food fairs, tastings of quality food produces, cooking classes and cooking contests or any tourism activity related to food.
The EDEN Awards 2015 recognise the important work that is being done by the winning destinations with their specialised tourism offers. The awards help raise awareness for sustainable food tourism, and draws attention to exciting, little-known European destinations that are off the beaten track.
The EDEN initiative
EDEN, an acronym for European Destinations of ExcelleNce, aims to promote sustainable tourism development models across the EU. The initiative is based on national competitions and promotional campaigns that result in the selection and promotion of a tourist 'destination of excellence' for each participating country.
Through the selection and promotion of destinations, EDEN effectively achieves the objective of drawing attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging, non-traditional European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe and promotes networking between awarded destinations.
The EDEN awards are presented every other year, each time under a different theme.
The 2015 winners
- Mostviertel Tourism, Austria
- Waimes, Belgium
- Gornje Medimurje, Croatia
- Pitsilia region, Cyprus
- Jeseniky, Czech Republic
- Hiiumaa, Estonia
- Tournus and the Tournougeois, France
- Mecsek Greenway, Hungary
- Skagafjordur Food Chest, Iceland
- The Burren Food Trail, Ireland
- Guardiagrele, City of Taste, Italy
- Latgale region, Latvia
- A spit cake in Jaskonys, Druskininkai municipality, Lithuania
- Xaghra, Malta
- The Silesian Tastes Culinary Route, Poland
- Marginimea Sibiului, Romania
- Pirot, Serbia
- Brda, Slovenia
- Goierri, Basque Country, Spain
- Gaziantep, Turkey