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Eden 2010 English Version
Les Lacs de l'Eau d'Heure - Laureate 2010
Development of a major tourist site in Wallonia
Located between the rivers Sambre and Meuse, the lakes of l'Eau d'Heure is a flagship of the Walloon tourist heritage. Artificially created in the 70's to establish a water reserve for maintaining the level of the river Sambre, the largest lakes in Belgium soon became an undeniable tourist attraction.
With its 1800 hectares divided into 600 hectares of lakes and the same surface of forests and grasslands, with 70 kilometres of shorelines, this great nautical complex hosts more and more new leisure activities and accommodation opportunities for the tourists' pleasure.
This 1800-hectare site can accommodate the development of such accommodations and of the infrastructure expected by the tourists, while preserving our natural resources, the main asset of this site, in a sustainable development perspective.
Europe and the Walloon Region have been joining their efforts for years to create a real tourist resort on the site of the Lakes of Eau d'Heure. Changes are now visible and infrastructures are constantly progressing...
For Belgium, every year we have a winner.
Eden Video Contest
What is EDEN ?
EDEN is the acronym for European Destinations of Excellence, a project promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. The project is based on national competitions that take place every year and result in the selection of a tourist “destination of excellence” for each participating country. Through the selection of destinations, EDEN effectively achieves the objective of drawing attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe and promotes networking between awarded destinations.
This European quest for excellence in tourism is developed around an annual theme, chosen by the Commission together with the relevant national tourism bodies. This theme functions as a leitmotif: so far, rural tourism, intangible heritage and protected areas have been the main EDEN themes.
The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability. The recipients of the award are emerging, little known European destinations located in the 27 Member States and candidate countries. The EDEN project helps to spread the sustainable practices used in the chosen destinations across the Union and to turn these places into all-year-round venues. The process thus aims to help de-congest over-visited tourist destinations.
The development of this project is backed by the European Commission which launched the project in 2006 and still plays a crucial coordinating role. Its tasks include encouraging dialogue among stakeholders, co-financing the selection procedures, organising the award ceremony (in the first two years, during the European Tourism Forum) and coordinating a comprehensive communication campaign.
What are the assets of the Lakes ?
- They are a real tourist DESTINATION with a full range of tourist and water activities for one day or several days (natural and cultural resources, reception and information, activities, accommodation, catering, attractions, sports, marked routes, events ...).
- The careful examination of all aspects of the sustainable and equitable character of the destination's management.
- The engine of economic development of an entire region.
Accommodation : Environment-Friendly Constructions
In terms of accommodation, you can spend one weekend or a week in one of the holiday villages on the Lakes of Eau d'Heure. These are built with today's energy performances, high environmental quality (HQE), concern for perfection and remarkable esthetics.
The villas have been designed to offer total well-being and to fully integrate nature and the landscape for a feeling of purity, freedom and tranquility.
These are the ideal places to relax with your family all year round.