In just a few years the Sejalec prizes have become established as a distinguished and leading award for the best and most innovative tourism projects in Slovenia. They are presented by the Slovenian Tourist Board in the desire to promote new, high-quality and innovative approaches to developing services and facilities. At the same time the Sejalec prizes are an excellent pointer for foreign audiences, who can in this way get acquainted with the latest achievements in Slovenian tourism. The Bohinj Park EKO Hotel became a Gold Sejalec in 2010.
In this year’s call for submissions for the Sejalec, which means “sower” in Slovenian, a total of 17 tourism projects were entered from all over Slovenia. Of these the expert committee selected eight finalists, including four recipients of a Sejalec 2010 plaque. Let’s take a look at this year’s prize winners.
The Gold Sejalec 2010, the ecology-oriented Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, represents a broad and boldly planned innovation, which alongside ecological practices has brought to Slovenia new practices in the attitudes of hoteliers to nature and the local population. In the case of the Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, behind the word EKO stands not just a well thought-out green philosophy and technical refinement, but also a young, dedicated team, which has internalised green thinking and is pursuing it on all levels of operation. The family hotel, built from natural materials to low-energy construction standards, is the fruit of domestic development and skills, while it boasts an international Green Globe certificate.
The Silver Sejalec 2010 went to the project “Tourism in Wine Cottages”, devised by the agency Kompas Novo Mesto, which has succeeded in bringing together a hundred wine cottage owners in Dolenjska, the region in south-eastern Slovenia, into a special consortium and has thereby established an entirely new, one-of-a-kind form of accommodation, not just for Slovenia but for Europe and the world. The wine cottages are in attractive locations, in a natural environment, and what they offer is quite special, too. Guests are welcomed in by the owner, who first invites them to the cellar for some fortification (home-made bread, salami, wine and more). After this first introduction, the owner gives the guests the keys to the wine cottage. Quite a few owners have decided to give guests the key to the cellar, too, and some will, on request, involve guests in various vineyard jobs (such as the grape harvest).
There were two recipients of the bronze prize: the “Let’s Taste the Heritage" project from the Rogatec Institute for Culture, Tourism and Development, which comprises a range of experience workshops taking place at the Open-Air Museum in Rogatec, and the Roman Games project at Terme Ptuj – which involves not just a tourist animation, but a wide-reaching project experienced by the entire destination, which has been developing Roman stories in this oldest Slovenian city for eight years now.
Where the Sejalec supports already successfully implemented ideas in tourism, the Snovalec prize supports the fulfilment of tourism ideas published in the Bank of Tourist Opportunities in Slovenia. In other words, ideas that are only now being prepared for entry into the market, and which will, once implemented, become new candidates for Sejalec prizes. Out of 67 concepts entered, the committee selected four, among which it distributed 40,000 euros in grants from the Ministry of the Economy (Tourism Directorate).