ECTN Awards: 'Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism', 2014-2023
The ‘Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism' ECTN Awards have been initiated by the CHARTS project (2012-2014),
co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the EU INTERREG IVC programme in 2014, continued with support by Interreg Europe projects CHRISTA (2016-2020), Cult-RInG (2017-2021) and Cult-CreaTE (2018-2022). The 2022 Awards are in relation to the ReInHerit Horizon2020 Coordination and Support Action (2021-2024).
The first Awards were held in September 2014 and the theme was that of the CHARTS INTERREG IVC 12 good practices, viz:
1. Climate Change
2. Accessibility to Heritage
3. Effective Partnerships
4. Host Communities & Responsible Tourism
5. Quality Criteria
6. Visitor Information
7. Place Marketing
8. Cultural Routes
9. Railway Heritage
10. Local Products & Gastronomy
11. Traditional Skills & Trades
12. Cycling for Tourists
The Awards ceremony was held in Agria, Volos, Greece, during the closing conference of the CHARTS INTERREG IVC project, on 11 September 2014.
ECTN as a partner in the CHARTS project decided to continue the Awards on an annual basis.
The Awards theme for 2015 was 'Industrial Heritage Tourism', linked with the campaign for a European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year 2015 by E-FAITH (European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage). The Awards ceremony took place in Riga. Latvia, in September 2015.
In 2016, the CHRISTA Interreg Europe project had started and the first theme was Intangible Heritage for Sustainable and Responsible Tourism. This was chosen as the theme of the 2016 Awards. The Awards ceremony was held in Guimaraes, Portugal, in September 2016.
The 2017 Awards were also based on the CHRISTA project, namely the theme on 'Heritage Interpretation', with guest contributor Interpret Europe. The 2017 Awards were also in the framework of the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The Awards ceremony took place in Sibiu, Romania, in September 2017.
The 2018 Awards have been as a contribution to the 'European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018' (EYCH2018), in partnership with Europa Nostra, European Travel Commission and supported by NECSTouR. A joint Jury was formed for the first time. Several categories were selected, based on the 10 EYCH2018 initiatives relevant to cultural tourism. The Awards ceremony took place in Pafos, Cyprus, in October 2018.
The 2019 Awards overall theme was dedicted to CHRISTA project, also in the framework of EU co-funded projects Cult-RInG, Cult-CreaTE and FOODBIZ Erasmus+. The Awards ceremony took place in Granada, Spain, in October 2019.
The 2020 Awards overall theme was 'Special Interest Tourism development and promotion based on Cultural Heritage'.
The 2021 Awards overall theme was 'Regenerating European Tourism through Culture, Heritage and Creativity'.
The 2022 Awards overall theme was 'Relaunching European Tourism through Cultural Heritage and Digitalisation'.
The 2023 Awards overall theme is: Smart Tourism - Smart Destinations : Cultural Heritage & Creativity, Digitalisation, Sustainability.