The Pomme d'Or or the “Golden Apple” is an award conferred to institutions, countries, or individuals in recognition of their excellent performance in promoting the tourism sector. The prize is awarded by FIJET, a European Association of professionals drawn from travel writers and journalists. It is awarded each year and can have multiple winners in a year. FIJET was established in 1970 and has so far awarded Golden Apple prizes across the globe. An executive committee meets to evaluate and judge various tourism efforts. The recent recipients of the award include the following.
2017 - Kazan - Russia
The mayor of Kazan city was presented with the Golden Apple award for making the region a pearl of global tourism. Kazan is rich in cultural heritage and harmonious coexistence between people of diverse nationalities, cultures and religious affiliations. The hospitality of the residents and a dynamic and professional team that plans tourism activities makes tourism go a level higher. Russia has held world-class events, especially in Kazan City hence the availability of efficient infrastructure for event tourism.
2017 - Bratislava - Slovakia
Bratislava is the first town in Slovakia to receive the coveted tourism award. The city has an excellent film industry, thereby fostering a crossroad of culture, history, and experience. Bratislava attracted more than 1.2 million tourists in 2016 due to the beautiful nature, cultural heritage, architecture, and social events. Bratislava Castle of the 9th century, St. Martin’s Cathedral which is a Gothic structure of the 13th century, and the Palace built in 1778 are well-preserved tourism sites. The award jury also considered the popular sights of St. Michael’s Gate and Street, a quiet street lined with numerous restaurants and shops.
2016 - Ypres - Belgium
Ypres City received the FIJET Award in 2016 for the outstanding efforts in preserving cultural and historical heritage within the context of modern tourism. The Award committee visited the well-preserved west front of the War where over 600,000 people were killed. Though the City was 90% destroyed, the site is still intact. Other notable sites that led to the winning of the award are the memorial museum Passchendaele, the Flanders Fields Museum and the trench of death.
2016 - Ljubljana - Slovenia
Ljubljana received the Golden Apple award in June 2016 for outstanding development particularly for introducing the principles of sustainable development in tourism. The award, presented at the National Gallery was due to the efforts in natural and historical sites preservation hence preservation of culture. Ljubljana commonly known as the European Green Capital has numerous museums which hosts the 20th-century Slovene paintings and displays both historic and modern artwork.
2016 - Plovdiv - Bulgaria
Plovdiv received the Golden Apple Award in 2016 as an acknowledgment of its effort in preserving, uplifting, and embracing tourism activities. The Bulgarian city has outstanding sites such as the Tsar Simeon Gardens and the singing mountains which have a reputation for having colored water jets that vividly dance to the tune of music. Located along the two banks of Maritsa River and built around 7 hills, the city has archaeological sites with mosaic panels where early coins are preserved. The Roman Era theatre of Philippopolis was another site that contributed to the city winning the award.
2015 - Dubrovnik - Croatia
Dubrovnik made history by winning the Golden Apple award for the second time. The first was in 1996. The main reason for the double win was to attract the attention of the world to this outstanding city that had a tough experience during the War. Dubrovnik is considered a famous drama and music stage and it brings together rich cultural heritage and modern tourism spirit hence becoming a true world treasure.
2015 - Moscow - Russia
In 2015, Moscow was awarded Pomme d'Or for its continued promotion of tourism. The city has natural and historical assets that are an attraction to global tourists. The government has ensured peace which has made Moscow a superior tourist destination. Moscow is home to the historic Kremlin, the Red Square, and Lenin’s Mausoleum. The St Basils Cathedral which is famous for onion shaped colorful domes and the historic merchant quarter, were also sites that contributed to winning of the award.Modern Gorky Park of leisure has raise and modernized tourism.
2015 - Palic - Serbia
The third Pomme d'Or award for 2015 was given to Palic to mark the over 170 years of organized tourism activities in the town. Since 1845, Serbia has grown the tourism industry from the construction of a hot bath in 1852 followed by a mud bath in 1863 to the building of a unisex bath in 1885. The first major hotel was constructed in 1854 followed by a beach complex. The following century saw the construction of facilities including the water tower, female beach, and the big terrace. The committee considered the fact that “park Palic” had invested greatly between 2009 and 2014 in the modernization of infrastructure.
2014 - Targu Jiu - Romania
The Romanian city of Targu Jiu was first documented in 1406 as an attractive site along the banks of Jiu River. As the capital of Gorj County, Targu Jiu has historical sculptural works of Constantin Brancusi. Rated as a talented sculptor, he created an outdoor monument ensemble between 1937 and 1938.The award-winning works consisted of three features namely the gate of the kiss, the column of infinite, and the table of silence.
2014 - Byblos - Lebanon
Byblos has retained over 8,000 years of continuous human civilization common across the whole of Lebanon. The Lebanon Mountains, Cedar found in plenty in the north, and hundreds of natural sites for tourists puts Lebanon above other nations as a global destination. Byblos in particular hosts major archaeological relics. The Temple of Ba`alat Gebal, the primary goddess and other ancient Phoenician temples contributed to Byblos winning the award. The region is a model of harmonious coexistence between different religious groups. Byblos has a reputation for having strong ties with Egypt since the Pharaonic dynasties, a factor that the award committee also considered.
2014 - Postojna - Slovenia
Postojna received the Pomme d'Or award in 2014 with the famous cave which offers the most remarkable natural site contributing to the award. Rated as the most visited cave in Europe, it has formations not available anywhere else in the world. The cave managers introduced the concept of sustainability to preserve the original outlook of the cave. The approach will ensure future generations will find the cave intact. The extraordinary experience and uniqueness of the cave led to winning the prize in 2014.
2013 - Opatija - Croatia
2013 was a memorable year for Croatia's tourism industry. Two of its destinations won the Pomme d'Or award for their exemplary performance in the tourism sector. The two are Opatija and Rovinj and they are both located on the Northern Adriatic Coast. Opatija was seen as a prominent destination that has preserved its tradition and heritage. Diversity is also clearly evident in the Opatija region.
2013 - Rovinj - Croatia
Rovinj was crowned the winner of the 2013 Golden Apple award in ceremony held in Croatia at the Dock of the Marina. The ceremony was attended by many citizens to witness the award. Rovinj has a well preserved cultural heritage dating various civilizations. The ancient treasures from the Republic of Venice to the Austro-Hungarian Empire are still well preserved. The influence of Former Yugoslavia in terms of architecture and artwork has been a major tourist attraction. Superior efforts have been made to treasure and value the prestigious old town.