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Applications Open for Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2021

Applications have opened for the ECTN Awards – Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism 2021, an event organized by European Travel Commission (ETC) aiming to encourage the development of sustainable tourism destinations across Europe.

The theme of this year’s awards is “Regenerating European tourism through culture, heritage and creativity”.

The awards are open to tourism destinations across Europe, national, regional and local authorities, tourism boards and associations, destination management organisations, museums, interpretation centers, cultural routes, festivals and cultural NGOs.

Interested parties can submit their applications online until June 1 at

The ECTN Awards are given to cultural tourist destinations which have produced significant results related to enhancing visitor experience while respecting traditions and involving local communities.

They are invited to showcase their results and outputs in sustainable cultural tourism under six selected categories:

  • Archaeological sites and museums as cultural tourism attractions
  • Walking tourism and slow travel – synergies with cultural tourism, supported by “Via Francigena” cultural route of the Council of Europe
  • Digitalisation in sustainable cultural tourism, towards smart destinations
  • Transnational thematic tourism products, including European Cultural Routes
  • Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) contribution to cultural and creative tourism development, in the framework of the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021” and the Interreg Europe Cult-CreaTE project, supported by the “Creative Tourism Network”
  • Railway heritage assets for cultural tourism, in the framework of the “European Year of Rail 2021”.

Photo source: ETC

The applicants must address one of the above themes and present projects/initiatives that have been completed during the past three years. Award winners will be recognised as examples of excellence inspiring other tourist destinations and stimulating further development of sustainable cultural tourism initiatives.

They will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held during the 14th International Conference for Cultural Tourism on 20-23 October 2021, in Athens, Greece.

The ECTN Awards have been organised since 2014 by ECTN around annual themes, for the benefit of destinations, communities, associations, businesses, citizens and visitors.

This year, the ETC has partnered with the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), Europa Nostra and the Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism (NECSTouR).

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