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South Sardinia and Barcelona win top prizes at the first ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards

South Sardinia and Barcelona win top prizes at the first ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards
Published on: 18/03/2016
'Visit South Sardinia' and Barcelona Province took home the top prizes for sustainability and accessibility at the first joint ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards hosted by the European Commission on 22 April 2016.


The joint ETIS and Accessible Tourism Awards recognise outstanding achievements amongst destinations that took part in a two-year European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS) pilot project.

Over 100 destinations took part in the ETIS pilot phase to help develop a standardised European approach to measuring and monitoring performance in sustainable and accessible tourism management. The jury handed out 1 to 3-star rankings to 10 destinations for sustainability, accessibility, and social impact awards in three categories: overall winners, responsible destination management, and sustainable economic development. Two destinations received a special mention for sustainable and accessible destination management.

  • ‘Visit South Sardinia’ was the overall winner for sustainability thanks to its innovative approach combining EU and UN sustainability indicators.
  • Barcelona Province won the top accessibility prize for its ‘Tourism for All’ approach.
  • Mali Lošinj in Croatia won ETIS Economic Value Achiever for the breadth and depth of insights gathered on sustainable tourism practices on the island, thanks to an impressive set of 130 indicators, going far beyond the 67 ETIS indicators in the 2013 pilot toolkit.
  • Brittany, Destination Brocéliande in France, won ETIS Environmental Impact Achiever for its work developing a green tourism offer in the legendary forest region.

4 destinations were awarded 2 stars as ETIS Social and Cultural Impact Achievers:

  • Dark Sky Alqueva in Portugal for its light pollution free zone and unique ‘night sky’ stargazing offer
  • Torroella de Montgri-l'Estartit and L'Estartit Llancà in Spain for balancing economic development with sustainable coastal tourism
  • Ljubljana in Slovenia for its ‘Slovenia Green’ certification label for hotels and tourism spots
  • Comunitat Valenciana in Spain for its achievements in improving access for tourists with disabilities.

1 star went to 2 Environmental Impact Achievers:

  • Podgorica in Montenegro for its long-term commitment to sustainable tourism
  • Abano Terme in Italy, which combines its reputation as one of Europe’s oldest spa towns with a green tourism approach, attracting visitors that want to alternate from the city-break destination of Venice.


Andalucía in Spain and South Limburg in the Netherlands received a special mention for sustainable destination management and accessibility improvements.

A new 2016 ETIS toolkit was launched at the awards ceremony as a tangible contribution from the European Commission towards the UNWTO International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development in 2017. The new toolkit, which employs 43 core indicators and a set of supplementary indicators, was developed as a result of the pilot phases and is available in all official EU languages to enable European destinations to monitor, measure and improve sustainable tourism practices.


More information

The European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS)