For almost a decade, the Slovenian Tourist Board has been systematically promoting and awarding creative and innovative tourist achievements. The battle for the acknowledged and prestigious Sejalec awards is stronger every year. The winner of 2011 became the culinary product of Slovenian Istria, followed by the finalist of the Alpine Bohinj with the product of Alpine flowers experience.
The Sejalec rewards (the word Sejalec means sower) successful tourism innovations or well planned and successfully executed new products and improvements that contain the elements of the applicant`s originality, systematic business thinking and high-quality promotion of Slovene tourism. The main aim of the Sejalec is to promote creativity and innovation on an entrepreneurial level, in destinations, tourism associations and in marketing of tourism products. The competition runs annually and is coordinated by the Bank of Tourism Potentials in Slovenia.
23 applications for novelties in Slovenian tourism were submitted in 2011, which is six more than in 2010. In a selection procedure, the expert committee selected seven semi-finalists who were visited on terrain, followed by a selection of two finalists. One of the finalists, Gastronomic Treasures of Istria of the municipality of Koper, became the winner and recipient of the SEJALEC 2011 award, followed by the International Festival of Alpine Flowers of Bohinj Tourism that obtained the title FINALIST OF SEJALEC 2011.
SEJALEC 2011: Gastronomic Treasures of Istria (Municipality of Koper)
With the Gastronomic Treasures of Istria, the municipality of Koper and its partners set a successful concept of integration and cooperation – it integrated several accommodation and food service providers, organisers of larger gastronomic events, wine makers, olive farmers and other providers of typical gastronomic products as well as hotel providers from Slovenian Istria. Joint coordination and promotion of gastronomic events and Istrian products increase the recognisability and quality, while offering to guests a rich, diverse and unique gastronomic experience. Throughout the years, new and innovative products have been developed – the festival of sweets, Sweet Istria, has to be mentioned among the gastronomic events, while the daily offer of thematic menues and guided thematic evenings is also well accepted.
FINALIST OF SEJALEC 2011: International Festival of Alpine Flowers (Bohinj Tourism)
In Bohinj, they are aware that the extension of the winter season throughout the year is of key importance for the survival of the destination. The International Festival of Alpine Flowers during May is an example of the development of a product aiming at a specific target group during the `dead` season and based on the local environment, its intact nature and its treasures. The festival integrates three aspects that are of key importance for the sustainable development of the destination: inclusion of the local inhabitants, activities that are based on natural and cultural heritage and their preservation, and inclusion of the economic component. That such an approach is innovative and successful, is also seen in the responses from abroad. It is due time to also be recognized at home; therefore, the International Festival of Alpine Flowers is the finalist of Sejalec 2011.
If the Sejalec awards` innovative ideas that have already been proven in practice, the Snovalec (Designer) award encourages the promotion and realisation of new ideas in tourism, which will become innovations in the future, ripe for the candidacy on the Sejalec tender. More about the Snovalec award and its finalists can be found here.