ITB 2023: the EU’s green tourism pioneer paves the way in sustainability

Kranj Old town

2023 EDEN winner Kranj (Slovenia) will be in Hall 20, stand 303 at this year’s event, 7-9 March.

2023 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) Kranj (Slovenia) is participating in ITB Berlin 2023. Representatives from the destination will be at the European Capital of Smart Tourism stand (Hall 20, stand 303).

Kranj is setting the standard in a form of tourism that is good for the environment and benefits the local community. This means implementing tourism measures that are reducing carbon footprints, while at the same time, empowering communities to get the most out of their local tourism industry. Leading sustainable tourism practices in Kranj include:

  • The Green Team: a team dedicated to lowering the carbon footprint across Kranj. The team is made up of 21 members from different local authority institutions. It collects data, sets targets and organises workshops with local businesses and tourism industry representatives, to make sure those targets are met.
  • The SOS Info Centre Proteus: the tunnels underneath Kranj old town are home to a rare species of olm. A local laboratory, in partnership with town authorities, have been researching and protecting these amphibious creatures for decades. The centre is taking this a step further, by informing visitors and locals about the endangered species, as well as the importance of the groundwater in which they live; a vital source of drinking water for the entire Slovenian population.


To secure a one-on-one meeting a representative from Kranj, you can book an appointment here.

The European Destinations of Excellence is an EU initiative, implemented by the European Commission. Its aim is to recognise and reward smaller destinations that have put in place successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices. The competition is founded upon the principle of promoting the development of sustainable tourism in destinations which brings value to the economy, the planet and people.

For all the latest news visit the European Destinations of Excellence website.


European Destinations of Excellence Secretariat: Antigoni Avgeropoulou,, +49 (0) 30 70 01 86 390

Note to Editors

  • Since 2007, the European Commission has supported EU Member States and other countries participating in the COSME programme to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe through the ‘European Destination of Excellence” (EDEN) award. This action aimed to foster sustainable tourism destination management models across Europe by selecting and promoting EDEN destinations. To date, 176 destinations from 27 different countries have received the award under different annual themes.
  • In 2019 the “Study on EDEN evaluation” was carried out to assess the continued relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the EDEN initiative and the various actions implemented in its framework, as well as its coherence with other EU initiatives. Following the results and recommendations of the evaluation study, the European Commission relaunched the initiative, taking into account European Green Deal goals. In addition to the EU countries, it also covers non-EU countries participating in the COSME programme. The competition addresses smaller tourism destinations which can showcase their outstanding achievements in sustainability and inspire other tourism destinations in their green transition.
  • The EDEN Award was implemented first as a pilot project and as a preparatory action initiated by the European Parliament and since 2011 has continued under the CIP/COSME programmes.
  • The 2023 EDEN competition was open to submissions from 31 March 2022 to 1 June 2022. Terms and conditions are available at
  • The current 2023 European Destination of Kranj was selected at the end of 2022 and has since been acting as a role model for sustainable tourism in Europe. Find out more about Kranj here.

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