Two Slovenian products nominated for Best Europe Tourism Project

Published: 2.12.2020

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Two Slovenian products nominated for Best Europe Tourism Project

We're excited to tell you that two out of six finalists in the Best Europe Tourism Project section of the International Tourism Awards 2020 are from Slovenia: Juliana Hiking Trail and the Secret Rooms of Hotel Jama in Postojna.

Two Slovenian products nominated for Best Europe Tourism Project

The BGTW International Tourism Awards (ITA) recognise excellence in tourism projects in four categories:

  • Best UK and Ireland Tourism Project
  • Best Europe Tourism Project
  • Best Wider World Tourism Project
  • The Armchair Award

The members of the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) travel the world and report back on projects and initiatives they think deserve notice. For the International Tourism Awards, projects are proposed by members. Once verified, nominated projects are put out to BGTW members for voting. 

The shortlist is announced at the start of September with up to six finalists in each of the four categories. In the category Best Europe Tourism Project, 2 out of 6 project are from Slovenia: Juliana Hiking Trail, which was nominated by Rudolf Abraham, and The Secret Rooms of Hotel Jama in Postojna, nominated by John Malathronas.

Here is what they have written about The Secret Rooms Hotel Jama

"Memories of the Cold War are fading, but the new hour-long tour of the secret rooms of Hotel Jama in Slovenia, complete with spetsnaz-attired guide, brings the old Communist cloak-and-dagger culture back to life.

Built in 1971 to capitalise on the nearby Postojna caves, the hotel, later closed, counted heads of state, ambassadors and VIPs among its clientele, all secretly monitored from a sealed-off section. The surveillance operation was so classified that the windowless rooms inhabited by the secret police only came to light during a 2016 renovation. Visit them today in their original left-in-a-hurry décor and be introduced to a world of passwords, secret passages, hotline telephones and nicotine-streaked basements.

Highlights include listening to a selection of original wiretaps, watching films that fill in the historical background, and hearing the chilling testimonies of erstwhile personnel, all with English translations. And yes, there’s a final twist that’ll make you jump. "

And about Juliana Hiking Trail:

"The Juliana is a superb new long-distance hiking trail through Slovenia’s breathtakingly beautiful Julian Alps, with an eye on slow tourism and sustainability. Designed to reduce the strain of visitor numbers on Triglav – the country’s highest and most popular mountain, which suffers increasingly from overcrowding and trail erosion – the Juliana makes a 270km circuit around this iconic peak, without actually climbing it.

Rather than the usual two-day blitz on Triglav, it encourages visitors to stay longer and explore the surrounding area (which after all is equally beautiful), taking in several less well-known valleys and even ducking over the border into Italy for a stage.

A core principle behind the Juliana was encouraging the use of public transport, rather than bringing a car – almost every stage begins in a village or town accessible by bus or train. This in turn helps keep bus routes running, meaning locals can continue using them."

The winners are announced at the BGTW Annual Gala Awards Dinner, normally held in November each year at The Savoy hotel in central London, and on the eve of World Travel Market. Because of the pandemic, the 2020 event will now take place on Sunday 21 March 2021, but still at The Savoy.

Sourced from The British Guild of Travel Writers Webpage.

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