69 new Slovenia Green labels awarded at the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism
69 new Slovenia Green labels awarded at the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism
The Green Day of Slovenian Tourism, the main event of sustainable tourism in Slovenia, took place today in Bohinj. At the Bohinj ECO Hotel, the Slovenian Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Slovenia Green Consortium, awarded 69 new Slovenia Green label providers with official plaques. In the last year, the destinations of Žirovnica and Portorož-Piran have newly joined the Green Scheme. In 2022, destinations with the Slovenia Green label accounted for around 90% of all tourist overnight stays in Slovenia.
The Green Day of Slovenian Tourism is dedicated to tourism stakeholders and partners in Slovenia who have put sustainable development at the core of their activities. The main part of the event was the awarding of the Slovenia Green label plaques and a programme with educational content on sustainable development. This year, the event was hosted by Bohinj and Bohinj ECO Hotel, both members of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. The STB organised the Green Day in partnership with the Slovenia Green Association and Bohinj Tourism.
Dubravka Kalin, Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, said that the Green Day celebrates the green and sustainable orientation of Slovenia's tourism offer. "This is the direction we have been following for several years, and it leads to the realisation of our strategic vision: 'Green&boutique. A smaller footprint. One of the most prominent internationally recognised projects, which has received numerous praises, is the Green Scheme for Slovenian Tourism, which is successfully managed by the Slovenian Tourist Board. We are particularly pleased that each year more and more tourist destinations and providers, committed to continuously improving their level of sustainability, are being awarded the Slovenia Green certificate. Destinations are assessed against 84 global green destination criteria and five destinations have been awarded the Slovenia Green platinum label, which makes us particularly proud. We would like to congratulate and thank the recipients for their contribution to the sustainable development of Slovenian tourism."
MSc. Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, highlighted: "We are proud that today all leading tourist destinations are included in the Green Scheme. The quality of the Green Scheme is also recognised abroad, as the European Travel Commission has recognised it as a basis for developing sustainable guidelines for European destinations. In the current strategic period up to 2028, Slovenian tourism wants to focus on a significant increase in quality and added value and on a truly sustainable operation, while maintaining a moderate growth in numbers. We need to ensure a well-developed and balanced offer that is in line with our values of sustainable and responsible tourism, while meeting - or exceeding - the expectations of our guests. Green destinations and green providers have the opportunity to lead the way."
Slovenia Green Association Coordinator, Tina H. Zakonjšek, emphasised: "Tourism is closely linked to the global environment and many of the challenges of humanity are also challenges for tourism. Tourism stakeholders inevitably have to address crises such as the current human resources crisis, the recent health crisis or the persistent climate crisis. The Slovenian Tourism Green Scheme, as a national tool to promote sustainability and raise awareness among all stakeholders, including the local population, about the responsible and sustainable development of our industry in the long term, enables us to address such challenges together. In the Slovenia Green Consortium, we are constantly striving to complement the activities of stakeholders at national level by educating and sharing best practices, to accelerate the implementation of sustainable solutions among our members, and to support the development and marketing of responsible tourism offerings for end-users."
At today's Green Day of Slovenian Tourism, the plaques were awarded to:
- 16 destinations (Slovenia Green Destination),
- 41 accommodations (Slovenia Green Accommodation),
- 19 restaurants (Slovenia Green Cuisine),
- 5 attractions (Slovenia Green Attraction),
- 1 travel agency (Slovenia Green Travel Agency),
- 1 beach (Slovenia Green Beach).
In the last year alone, since Green Day 2022, 69 Slovenia Green labels have been newly awarded. In addition to the new recipients, 14 destinations have received the Slovenia Green Destination label today, renewing it every three years.
Alongside the Slovenia Green labels, the title of Green Coordinator was also awarded for the second time. This time, Nevenka Klun from Kočevsko earned the title. She described the Green Coordinators as challenging: "The Green Scheme is very broad and it is not enough that we only work as tourism professionals, but many other areas are also involved. A Green Coordinator therefore needs to be well-connected and have an excellent overview of what is happening in the destination, but at the same time be very patient. Listening to the municipality and to managers in other public institutions is essential for a good destination assessment."
The Green Scheme: 288 Slovenia Green symbols in seven categories
The Green Scheme has 288 Slovenia Green members in seven different categories:
- 60 destinations (Slovenia Green Destination),
- 142 accommodation providers (Slovenia Green Accommodation),
- 60 restaurants (Slovenia Green Cuisine),
- 4 nature parks (Slovenia Green Park),
- 8 travel agencies (Slovenia Green Travel Agency),
- 12 attractions (Slovenia Green Attraction), and
- 2 beaches (Slovenia Green Beach).
Slovenia Green destinations accounted for around 90% of all tourist arrivals and overnight stays in Slovenia last year.
The Green Scheme as a basis for sustainable orientations at European level
The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism was one of the first projects in Europe to develop sustainability in tourism and is a model for many other countries. We are proud that the European Travel Commission (ETC) has taken the Green Scheme as a basis for developing sustainable guidelines for European destinations, and that Slovenia as a destination has gained in visibility and reputation.
This fact, together with a large number of Slovenia Green Label holders, demonstrates the great importance of the Green Scheme, which has become a central programme for more responsible tourism development in Slovenia.
In order to successfully continue guiding the development of Slovenian tourism, it is important that the Green Scheme is regularly updated, adapted to the tourism situation and aligned with trends. The STB is therefore planning to upgrade the Green Scheme in the coming years, which will also be facilitated by the project to establish a national tourism information centre, as identified in the current Tourism Strategy and the Recovery and Resilience Plan. The Information Centre, which is being set up by the STB, will enable concrete measurements on all three pillars of sustainable development in the coming years, thus providing a basis for data-driven decision-making in sustainable destination management. It will also enable the digitalisation of specific Green Scheme processes.
Bohinj, the first destination to be awarded the Slovenia Green Destination platinum label
Bohinj, host of this year's Green Day of Slovenian Tourism, became the first destination to be awarded the most prestigious, platinum Slovenia Green Destination label in 2021. In the same year, Bohinj adopted a ground-breaking Sustainable Development Strategy for the Lake Bohinj area, which assessed the carrying capacity of the lake and made proposals for measures to ensure the sustainable development of activities.
Last year, Bohinj won the Best Tourism Village title awarded by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and is now hosting the 17th International Alpine Flower Festival. It is a bouquet of botanical tours, events and culinary experiences dedicated to wild plants, Bohinj's floral wealth and local offer. Today, Green Day participants also experienced part of the festival's pulse.
These days, Bohinj is also the venue of another event in which the STB is very much involved: in partnership with the Julian Alps, the STB is presenting the first one-off event promoted by a new collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens): The Ultimate Julian Alps Sensory Adventure. The Ultimate Julian Trail Token is a limited edition NFT token issued as a unique digital souvenir for selected journalists or media attending the event. This puts Slovenia on the global map as a smart, innovative and sustainable destination, boldly looking to the future and embracing new technologies.