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Search is on for the Best Cultural Destination in Ireland

Fáilte Ireland launches the 8th EDEN Competition with Cultural Tourism as this year’s theme 

The search has begun to find the destination in Ireland which has best used its local cultural assets as potential to grow visitor numbers. Fáilte Ireland, is inviting entries for the 2017 European Destinations of Excellence Network (EDEN) competition, which focuses on a different aspect of tourism each time. 

The theme for 2017 is “Tangible Cultural Tourism”.  The tourism authority is looking for applications from emerging destinations in Ireland who have developed a specific tourism offering based on their cultural assets - that balances sustaining the local environment with the promotion of viable tourism (full detail on criteria below).   

Speaking about the competition Paddy Mathews, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Investment & Innovation, said:

“Through the EDEN Competition, Fáilte Ireland wants to showcase the best examples of how cultural assets have been sustainably used to benefit both tourists and local communities.

“Ireland has long been recognised for the richness of its cultural heritage which is of critical importance to our attractiveness to visitors. We have over 5,000 years of material culture which tells an exciting and engaging story for our visitors. Communities across Ireland are fiercely proud of their heritage and culture and many have harnessed these assets through tourism to deliver real social and economic benefits for their local areas.”

EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is currently held every two years in 29 member states.  Previous Irish winners include the Burren Food Trail (Tourism & Local Gastronomy), the Great Western Greenway (Tourism & the Regeneration of Physical Sites) and Loop Head (Aquatic Tourism). 

The 2017 winning destination will receive a photo shoot of the destination, a certificate of achievement and an awards ceremony. In addition all applications will receive a written report on their application with expert feedback from the adjudicators. Also the EU will offer the winner in each Member State international promotion of the destination through the EDEN web-portal (www.edenineurope.eu), a short promotional visual presentation, and participation in the EU EDEN network.

Eligible destinations will be those:

  • that are “small” or “emerging” or “off the beaten track” or “non-traditional” (with visitor numbers from low to very low in comparison with the national average);
  • which offer authentic Tourism experiences;
  • that have a well-developed cultural offerings, characteristic of their region.

Full competition details are available at www.failteireland.ie/eden/ or by emailingeden.helpdesk@failteireland.ie. The closing date for entries is 4pm on Monday 31stJuly, 2017.