Slovenia at WTM London 2021: a sustainable and safe destination for great sports & outdoor experiences

Published: 2.11.2021

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Slovenia at WTM London 2021: a sustainable and safe destination for great sports & outdoor experiences

This year’s World Travel Market London’s physical show takes place at ExCeL London 1 – 3 November, followed by WTM Virtual (November 8 – 9). The focus of Slovenia’s presentation is sustainability, which is also one of the main assets that convinced the global travel authority Lonely Planet to name Slovenia 5th in its top 10 countries to visit next year (Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022).

Slovenia at WTM London 2021: a sustainable and safe destination for great sports & outdoor experiences

As the main partner of Slovenia's presentation at WTM, Ljubljana has been brought to the spotlight, focusing on architectural masterpieces of Jože Plečnik which were put on the prestigious UNESCO list this summer. Furthermore, great outdoor and sports activities have also been highlighted, as this will be the main promotional themes for 2022-2023 for Slovenia. As many as 13 Slovenian tourism companies are present at the stand. For the media, a press conference was held today, on 2 November.

World Travel Market is a leading global event for the travel industry that provides a unique opportunity for meetings, networking, negotiating and concluding business deals in one place. This year's 42nd edition takes place in a hybrid form under the slogan Reconnect. Rebuild. Innovate. The physical event takes place at ExCeL London 1 – 3 November and WTM Virtual on November 8 – 9. As many as 15 Slovenian tourism companies are present in London, showcasing that Slovenia is an authentic and boutique destination for unforgettable and safe travel experiences: Charming Slovenia, Fabula Tours, Happy Tours DMC, ITT - DMC & Tour operator, Julian Alps, Kompas DMC, Ljubljana Tourism, M tours Bled DMC, Orel Travel, Palma Travel DMC, Sava Hotels & Resorts, Van Gogh DMC, Postojna Cave Park, Bled Rose Hotel and Vipava Valley.

This year, Slovenia presents itself as a destination with a thriving culinary scene, range of outdoor pursuits and highly regarded green credentials, which is why Lonely Planet also put it on their Best in Travel 2022 list. Slovenia was named 5th among top 10 countries thanks to being green both literally and figuratively.

Green and safe

Slovenia is considered one of the greenest and safest countries in Europe. For years, the country has strived to act in a sustainable and responsible manner towards its wonderful green nature and rich local cultural heritage, setting an example for others with actions. After the outbreak of the pandemic, also high hygiene standards have been brought to the spotlight. Our commitment to creating safe holiday conditions was captured in the Green & Safe label to ensure safe adventures in the post-COVID landscape, recognised also by WTTC's Safe Travels Label.

Slovenia ranks 5th on the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 List

With a thriving culinary scene, range of outdoor pursuits and highly regarded green credentials, Slovenia has been named 5th in the top 10 countries to visit next year, according to world-leading travel publisher Lonely Planet. Piran is on the cover page of the 2022 edition.

Outdoor and sports tourism: the leading promotional themes for 2022-2023

Slovenia is a green, active and healthy country. It is also one of Europe’s great outdoor adventure playgrounds. Regardless of the time of year you will find an adrenaline-fuelled activity to suit you, whether that’s rafting the turquoise waters of the Soča River, hiking stunning sections of the Julian Alps or, of course, cycling. Not only that Slovenia is home to world's best cyclists, Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič, it also offers an array of cycling adventures. Outdoor and sports tourism will also be leading promotional tourism theme of Slovenia in 2022-2023.

Superb gastronomy

A major shift in the visibility of Slovenian gastronomy was made last year with the arrival of the Michelin guide to Slovenia. In 2021, seven Slovenian restaurants received eight Michelin stars. Additionally, 6 restaurants also got the Michelin Green Star for their sustainable approach. The fact that Slovenia really is a bright new star on the world’s gastronomy map is further underpinned by the European Region of Gastronomy title, which Slovenia holds this year. Slovenian cuisine impresses with local ingredients and sustainable approach, which is, thanks to the creativity of the chefs, wrapped up in amazing gastronomy stories.

The land of amazing UNESCO sites, including the latest listed this year

Ljubljana's landmarks designed by architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957), including the Triple Bridge, Congress Square and Žale Cemetery, were included in UNESCO's World Heritage List this year. In addition to the most recent entry, Slovenia already has four entries in the World Heritage List - ancient and primaeval beech forests of the Carpathians, the heritage of mercury in Idrija, prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps, and the Škocjan Caves.

At all ends, Ljubljana will impress you with its picturesque image and inspiring architectural solutions. But architectural masterpieces of the great visionary architect Jože Plečnik are the ones that leave the greatest architectural mark on the Slovenian capital. Every walk around the city will give you a chance to admire the works of the great master, who gave the capital not only beauty and functionality, but also eternity, as the selection of his works has been recently included in the UNESCO list of cultural heritage. Since Ljubljana is the main partner of Slovenia’s presentation at WTM London, the visitors will have a chance to experience these masterpieces with a help of virtual reality.

New hotel openings and renovations

During the lockdown, a number of hotels in Slovenia has been restored. The hotels are reopening for travellers, offering unique, unforgettable and above all safe experiences.

Juliana Trail wins the ITA 2020 Best Europe Tourism Project Award

Earlier this year (in April), the British Guild of Travel Writers announced the winners of the BGTW International Tourism Awards. Juliana Trail won in the Best Europe Tourism Project section. The awards were presented at yesterday's galla event. The project was nominated by award-winning travel writer Rudolf Abraham, who is a great friend of Slovenia. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW), who travel the world and report back on projects and initiatives they think deserve notice. According to the BGTW, Juliana Trail is "a superb new long-distance hiking trail through Slovenia’s breathtakingly beautiful Julian Alps, with an eye on slow tourism and sustainability.”

A press conference to highlight Slovenia’s commitment to sustainable and safe travels

At the press conference taking place today, the global media had an opportunity to hear from Karmen Novarlič from Slovenian Tourist Board, MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana Tourism and President of European Cities Marketing, Tom Hall from Lonely Planet and Klemen Langus, Director of Bohinj Tourism.

MSc. Karmen Novarlič from Slovenian Tourist Board presented a brief overview of the sustainability efforts and the latest achievements of Slovenia and emphasized that Slovenia is one of the most exciting new culinary destinations in Europe, which has also been confirmed by Michelin stars and the European Gastronomic Region 2021 title. She also highlighted that the development of Slovenian tourism is aimed at creating products with added value for more demanding guests looking for personalized experiences in non-mass destinations. She concluded by announcing that active holidays and sports tourism will be the central promotional themes for the next two years.

Thomas Hall, Lonely Planet's VP of Experience, came to discuss the announcement that Slovenia made it to no.5 best in travel and became one of two recognised in Europe: “Responsible travel has been part of the Slovenian way of life for decades and the country has become a world leader in developing sustainable tourism strategies by prioritising quality over quantity and communities over consumerism. Offering truly unforgettable experiences from the Alps and Adriatic, Slovenia continues to innovate and over the last year has introduced a range of community based culinary and cycling routes to enable visitors to tap into the rich natural and cultural experiences. The country’s continued commitment to creating sustainable tourism solutions is why it has ranked so highly in this years’ Best in Travel listing and is why we have chosen to feature Slovenia on the front cover of the book.”

MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana Tourism and President of European Cities Marketing, – Ljubljana is also the main partner of this year's Slovenia's presentation at WTM London – discussed the green soul of newly announced European Best Green Capital, active and vivid experiences that city can offer and architectural gems by Jože Plečnik that were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List this year. She pinpointed that Ljubljana preserves the charm and friendliness of a smaller town, while offering everything found in the large capitals.

Klemen Langus, Director of Bohinj Tourism, also highlighted Bohinj’s sustainable story and presented its major potential for outdoor tourism 365 days a year, especially thanks numerous hiking and biking trails, such as Juliana Trail and Juliana Bike, as well as the new Juliana SkiTour, which takes you across the Julian Alps from Kranjska Gora to Tolmin.

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