Triglav National Park is the only Slovenian national park, one of the oldest national parks in Europe and got its name from the highest Slovenian mountain: Triglav (2864 m), which is a symbol of Slovenia. The park is visited by more than 2 million visitors annually and 55 per cent of them enter the park through Bled. Therefore, the Bled municipality would like to use the strategic location of Bled for park entry and offer visitors a modern information interpretation centre.
According to the number of tourist overnight stays, the Gorenjska region is the most important tourist region in Slovenia, after the coastal-Karst region, and represents more than one sixth of overnight stays in the structure of Slovenian tourism. In 2012, 650,220 tourists generated 1,670,653 overnight stays, of which 80 per cent first visited Bled, Bohinj and Kranjska Gora (36 per cent out of total number found accommodation in Bled). The most important natural value and the largest protected area of Gorenjska region is Triglav National Park, which provides character to the entire region.
Tourism and nature protection in the region are strongly connected, since most of the area is protected in various forms. In keeping with the long-term sustainability of the environment and attractiveness of the region, visitors have to become aware and be directed inside the destination and the protected areas.
Tourism in an important economic industry of the region, which must be followed by tourist infrastructure. Nowadays, the region still doesn`t have a modern central information centre, as do other competitive destinations; therefore, the Bled municipality has decided to better use the strategic position of the existing Triglav National Park information centre. The purpose of the project is to arrange and establish a modern regional tourist and nature-protected centre for the needs of the Bled tourist destination, the entire Gorenjska region, Triglav National Park and other nature protected areas and NATURA 2000 areas in Gorenjska.
With the restoration of the ground floor and basement premises of the public building in Bled, they hope to establish a modern visitor’s centre, where 700 m2 will include a central information point, an area for permanent and temporary exhibitions, a children`s corner, a multipurpose corner, a local products shop, a multimedia hall and a tastings corner. Construction works will begin before the summer, while the information centre should be restored before the start of the 2014 tourist season.
The investor is Bled municipality, while the Triglav National Park institute will manage the future centre with the main mission of protecting nature and preserving the cultural landscape, including appropriate development but also enabling an experience in the park. After the restoration, the local tourist organisation, Bled Tourism, which also manages the regional destination organisation for all of Gorenjska, will also move to this location. In this way, Bled Tourism will actively participate in the management of the tourist section of the centre.
The investment is estimated to be 826,545 €, while 70% will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of the Operational programme for strengthening regional development potentials for the period 2007-2013.