Last autumn, I wrote a post about the EU’s EDEN project, or European Destinations of ExcelleNce. Do please take a look back at my post of August 2010 here, regarding this EU initiative to support sustainable tourism destinations.

The 2011 EDEN Award focuses on the regeneration of physical sites. The rewarded destinations are those that have taken a physical site of local heritage (e.g. a piece of industrial or transport infrastructure, or a military site) and converted it into a sustainable tourism attraction for locals and tourists alike.

The Great Western Greenway has been named a winner this year. Congratulations to all and thank you to the landowners who bought into the concept. Hopefully, those who have thus far refused to allow the track across their land might have a change of mind.

In a press release, Fáilte Ireland writes that

” The Great Western Greenway in County Mayo has been named as the Irish winner of this year’s “European Destination of Excellence” (EDEN) award.

The theme of the 2011 competition was ‘Tourism and the Regeneration of Physical Sites’ and the Greenway was chosen following a comprehensive examination of a number of contenders, including on-site assessments by a panel of expert adjudicators.   

The EDEN award is part of an EU-wide competition designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development.

The Greenway was announced as the ultimate winner last week following a shortlisting of finalists, which also included the Arigna Mining Experience, Co. Roscommon and the Lough Boora Lakelands, Co. Offaly. ”