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    Search is on for Best Cultural Destination in Ireland?

    Search is on for Best Cultural Destination in Ireland?

    Deadline Approaching…  Monday 31st July, 2017

    Applicants have two more weeks to enter their destination in the 8th EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) competition as Fáilte Ireland searches to find the destination in Ireland which has best used its local cultural assets as potential to grow visitor numbers.

    Full competition details are available at or by emailing The closing date for entries is 4pm on Monday 31st July, 2017. 

    The theme for 2017 is “Tangible Cultural Tourism” and 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 (, 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.

    Further information on EDEN competition:

    The aim of the EDEN project is to draw attention to the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations and to promote destinations where economic growth is pursued in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism. 

    Eligible destinations will be those where the visitor density is low; where the tourism product has been developed using local and regional cultural assets while protecting the environment and meeting the needs of visitors and local residents; and where the tourism offer is managed in such a way as to ensure its social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

    Fáilte Ireland is appointing a panel of adjudicators to select the top destinations and the overall winner.  The evaluation process will short-list the top three applications for on-site assessments during the week beginning 4th September 2017.  This assessment will allow each shortlisted applicant an opportunity to provide further evidence of their Tangible Cultural Tourism destination of excellence.

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