NewsLocalCall for entries for health and well-being tourism competition

Call for entries for health and well-being tourism competition

The deputy tourism ministry is inviting entries to its Cyprus EDEN Competition for the selection of the Best Tourism Destination on the theme “Health and well-being tourism”.

The winning destinations will be promoted by the European Commission and the participating countries, thereby promoting the diversity, uniqueness, and quality of the European tourism destinations.

The present programme is a continuation of the initiative European Destinations of Excellence (European Destinations of Excellence – EDEN) launched in 2006 by the European Commission Tourism Unit.

Since 2014 the Programme continues to be implemented under the framework of COSME Programme. It is co-financed by the European Commission and open to the 28 EU member states and candidate countries, each of which will select their own winner.

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

For those reasons the National Tourism Representatives of the European member states as well as EU Candidate countries will select the Best Tourism Destination of their country.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism (DMT) has been selected by the European Commission to implement the EDEN 2019 project in Cyprus.

Those wishing to participate in the competition can find additional information on the “Eligibility Criteria”, the “Application Forms”, the “Submission Instructions” and the “Evaluation Criteria” sections which are available on

The application deadline is on Friday, September 13 at 12:00 pm.

The DMT has set up an EDEN Help Desk aiming to support candidates for filling out and submitting their Application Forms. The winning destination for Cyprus will be promoted in Cyprus and throughout Europe.

In the absence of a recognised definition of “Health and well-being tourism”, for the purpose of this present invitation to submit a proposal, it has to be clarified that the eligible destinations are those that have as a primary motivation the contribution to physical, mental and/or spiritual health through wellness based activities which increase the capacity of individuals to satisfy their own needs and function better as an individual and in their environment and society.

It includes body and facial treatments, massage, reflexology, yoga and meditation, relaxation techniques, exercise and fitness (e.g. pilates, thai chi), beauty treatments (e.g. aromatherapy, use of natural cosmetics), hydrotherapy (e.g. thalassotherapy, sauna), spiritual activities, nutritional and detox programmes, expressive therapies and creative arts, energy therapies (e.g. reiki, crystals, astrology), education activities (counselling, workshops, seminars in stress management) etc. which are provided by different types of facilities (i.e. thermal baths, spas, hotels and resorts, festivals, cruises, wellness retreats, etc.).

Facilities offering medical treatments, including surgical, clinical and therapeutic services, are not considered as eligible destinations.

Specific Requirements for Applicants’ Participation:

  • The eligible destination must be an emerging, non-traditional tourism destination. The European Commission describes this as a destination where the visitor density ranges from “low” to “very low” in comparison to the national average .

  • The eligible destination must have a developed tourism offer, providing wellness tourism services and activities based on the destination’s natural or cultural/historical/spiritual resources for at least 2 years, i.e. from 2017.

General Award Criteria:

The destinations should be or have the potential to become attractive to visitors / tourists and consist of a well-defined and geographically identified area. To evaluate this, the candidates should meet at least 4 of the 5 General Award Criteria and receive at least 50% of the total score in the evaluation process. Specifically, the tourism destination:

  • Should be an emerging and non-traditional destination.

  • Should offer authentic tourism experiences (e.g. an area which offers many activities).

  • Should have local authorities with a capacity in managing the tourist offer in a way to ensure its social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

  • Should have administrative efficiency and cooperation between public and private entities (e.g. provision of tourism services, local communities, stakeholders, etc.).

  • Should have agencies, NGOs and/or local authorities with a capacity in adopting sustainable tourism practices.

Applications can be accepted only by entities that can represent the eligible destinations and are set as follows:

  • Local authorities,

  • Groups of local authorities (e.g. Union of Communities),

  • Other entities in which the local authorities participate or are represented (e.g. District Development Agencies and Tourism Development and Promotion District Agencies)










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