European Cultural Tourism Network Awards 2024 seeks outstanding Accessible Heritage Destinations

Share on social media

The ECTN will award "European Collaboration for Smart and Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destinations", with the first theme addressing Accessibility to Heritage.

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, as well as to the sustainable future of cultural assets, 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 culture and 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 several selected categories each year.
The Awards have been organised since 2014 by ECTN around annual themes, for the benefit of destinations, communities, associations, businesses, citizens and visitors.
The 2024 edition of the Awards for ‘Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism’ is organised by ECTN in partnership with Europa Nostra, the European Travel Commission and NECSTouR, in the framework of 'European Capital of Smart Tourism Dublin 2024'.

It follows on from the 2018 edition of the Awards which was held as a contribution to the ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage’ (EYCH2018) and the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions, by a similar partnership that aims to contribute towards the legacy of EYCH2018 through relevant EU initiatives.

Call for Entries

The 2024 overall theme is: ‚Äč European Collaboration for Smart and Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destinations

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 host communities.
The 2024 Awards address several tangible and intangible heritage-related aspects of smart and sustainable cultural tourism development and promotion. The first of these themes is:

  1. Accessibility to Heritage, both physical and intellectual, as a component of Smart Tourism and Smart Destinations, at museums, cultural and heritage sites; Accessible Cultural Tourism (in partnership with ENAT - European Network for Accessible Tourism).
  2. Intangible Heritage, including Festivals, performing arts, music, dance, theatre, opera, visual arts, handicrafts, traditional trades, for Sustainable Cultural Tourism.
  3. Digitalisation advances and digital transition in Smart and Sustainable Cultural Tourism, Smart Tourism and Smart Destinations initiatives closely involving culture and heritage, enhancing the visitor experience, including AI, VR/AR, big data, gamification, Metaverse.
  4. Transnational Thematic Tourism Products, on culture and heritage, including those related to European Cultural Routes, European Heritage Label networks and/or cross-border cultural tourism initiatives (involving at least two European countries, not necessarily neighbouring).
  5. Coastal and Maritime Heritage for Sustainable Cultural Tourism, including underwater heritage, maritime museums, historic ships, shipwrecks, old ports, equipment, lighthouses, traditional boat and repair yards, as well as maritime cultural landscapes.

Award winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony to be held during the 17th International Conference for Cultural Tourism on the theme of "European Collaboration for Smart and Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destinations‘’, organised by ECTN on 23-26 October 2024 in Dublin, European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024, Republic of Ireland.

The selected finalists will be invited to the ECTN Conference 2024 and to the Awards Ceremony. The organiser and partners will not reimburse any costs for attending the Awards Ceremony, but the conference fee will be waived for up to two persons per finalist.

Further information and How to apply

For the further details about the award and how to submit your application, go to:
ECTN Website

Closing date for receiving applications is 1 June 2024 – 17:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time) at the latest.


ENAT Managing Director, Ivor Ambrose writes:

"The ECTN 2024 Awards for Theme 1 Accessibility to Heritage will be given to applicants who can demonstrate outstanding achievements in their field. The ECTN Award will confer international recognition and serve as inspiration for others to place accessibility and inclusion in the mainstream of cultural tourism. We call on all actors in cultural tourism to share their successful accessibility initiatives, giving tourists of all ages and abilities the opportunity to experience and enjoy the heritage values in Europe’s cultural heritage sites, buildings, objects and natural areas, as well as in intangible culture".     

In partnership with

Logo of Europa Nostra Logo of European Travel Commission  logo of necstour




Supported by
Logo of ENAT


and in the framework of

Logo EU Smart Tourism Capital 2024 Dublin

  Banner of transition Pathwayb for Tourism with a cyclist in mountain landscape Logo of Sustainable Development Goals in a colour circle and word Tourism sm in centre