The Interreg Europe CHRISTA Project title, Culture and Heritage for Responsible, Innovative and Sustainable Tourism Actions, has been selected as the main theme of the 6th edition of the ECTN Awards 'Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism 2019'. Three out of seven categories are devoted to CHRISTA Project themes.

Applications by candidates must be submitted by 1st July 2019. The Awards ceremony will take place on 24th October 2019 during the CHRISTA closing event to be held in Granada, Spain.

About the Awards

Cultural tourism is the fastest growing sector of European tourism and can contribute both to the sustainability and competitiveness of tourism in the European Union and beyond and to the sustainable future of heritage sites and local communities.

Cultural Tourism products and services are important factors in sustainable development, contributing to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, the extension of the tourism period, as well as increasing heritage awareness among tourists and host communities, regional GDP and its multiplier effects.

These Awards enhance the visibility of European cultural tourism destinations, create a platform for sharing experience and knowledge and promotes networking between destinations. The Awards Contest is open to tourist destinations across Europe, to showcase their results and outputs in sustainable cultural tourism under seven selected categories. 

The Awards have been organised since 2014 by ECTN around annual themes, for the benefit of destinations, communities, associations, businesses, citizens and visitors. The Awards form a legacy of the INTERREG IVC CHARTS Project.

The 2019 edition of the Awards is organised by ECTN in partnership with Europa Nostra, the European Travel Commission and NECSTouR. It follows on from the 2018 Awards as a contribution to the ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage’ (EYCH2018), by a similar partnership and aims to contribute towards the legacy of EYCH2018.

Call for Entries 

The 2019 overall theme is based mainly on the Interreg Europe CHRISTA Project (Culture and Heritage for Responsible, Innovative and Sustainable Tourism Actions), initiated by ECTN with 9 partner destinations and ECTN as advisory partner in charge of project communications (2016-2020).

The Awards will be given for achievements by cultural tourist destinations which have produced significant results related to enhancing visitor experience while respecting traditions and involving local communities.

The 2019 Awards address the following heritage-related aspects of sustainable cultural tourism (the first 3 in the frame of CHRISTA Project): 

1. Intangible Cultural Heritage 

2. Heritage Interpretation Facilities

3. Innovation and Digitisation in Cultural Tourism Development and Promotion

4. Transnational Thematic Tourism Products, including Cultural Routes (linked to Cult-RInG Interreg Europe project)

5. Culinary Heritage, Wine, Food and Gastronomy Tourism

6. Contributions by Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) to Cultural and Creative Tourism (linked to Cult-CreaTE Interreg Europe projet)

7. Actions during the ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018’, initiative on ‘Tourism and heritage’.

The applicants must address one of the above themes. Award winners will be recognised as examples of excellence inspiring other tourist destinations and stimulating further development of sustainable and responsible cultural tourism initiatives.

 Award winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony to be held during the CHRISTA Interreg Europe Project closing conference, organised by ETCN on 24-26 October 2019 in Granada, Spain. The selected finalists will be invited to the ECTN Conference and to the Awards Ceremony 2019.

Who can apply?

The Joint Awards are open to all tourist destinations across Europe, national, regional and local authorities, tourism boards and associations, destination management organisations, museums, interpretation centres, festivals and cultural NGOs.

 Awards Jury

The Awards Jury will be composed of experts from several European countries, appointed by ECTN, Europa Nostra, the European Travel Commission and NECSTouR.

The Jury’s decision shall be final. The Jury will not accept requests for additional information or justification of their decision once the awardees have been selected.

Awards Criteria

The Awards Jury will assess the quality of applications according to the following criteria: 

1. Relevance to the legacy of ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018’

2. Technical content of actions

3. Evidence of success

4. Sustainability of the actions

5. Ability to attract visitors from outside Europe to lesser known destinations

6. Innovative nature of the actions

7. Involvement of the local community.

Applications must be submitted by 1 July 2019 – 17:00 CET at the latest.

The Application form and the required Declaration can be downloaded from the website: