Slovenia at WTM London with captivating cultural experiences
Slovenia at WTM London with captivating cultural experiences
At WTM London, a key event in the global tourism industry, Slovenia is making a strong impression with a visually and technologically enhanced exhibition stand. The central theme of the presentation revolves around exceptional cultural experiences. Visitors also have the unique chance to participate in interactive demonstrations of the traditional printing craft. Yesterday, the spotlight was on captivating talks about culture and nature, led by Dr. Noah Charney.
The World Travel Market (WTM) London, taking place in London from November 6 to 8, stands as one of the premier global events in the tourism industry. At this event, stakeholders within the tourism sector gain valuable insights into industry trends, establish essential partnerships, and showcase their offer on a worldwide scale. Last year, the event drew more than 35,000 business participants from 184 countries, alongside over 1,500 media representatives.
MSc. Maja Pak, the Director of the STB, commented: "The WTM provides an exceptional platform to showcase Slovenian tourism on the international stage, this time with a particular focus on the enriching cultural experiences offered by our destinations and providers. Through our participation, we are already highlighting STB's main communication theme for 2024 and 2025, centered on art and culture. Slovenia's cultural treasures and its exceptional natural beauty, combined with a strong commitment to sustainability, position our country as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. I am delighted to hear that there is a great interest in our country from travel agents, tour operators, professionals, and media representatives at WTM London."
At the common exhibition space hosted by the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB), 21 destinations and providers present their offer: Ljubljana Tourism, also the main partner of the presentation, Bled Tourism, Maribor Tourism, Julian Alps, Bled Rose Hotel, HIT Alpinea, Sava Turizem, Terme Čatež, Terme Krka, Terme Olimia, Postojna Cave, Van Gogh Agency, Ekorna potovanja, Fabula Tours, Happy Tours, Kompas, Kompas Novo mesto, M Tours, Palma Travel DMC, Promet T&T and Opus Magnum.
Cultural experiences take centre stage and Ljubljana Tourism, the key partner in this presentation, is spotlighting one of the capital's latest attractions—a handicraft workshop. Visitors can explore the world of printing through hands-on experiences with a 60-year-old manual bookbinder and an antique printing press, which are instrumental in creating the iconic views of Ljubljana.
Maribor is also getting ready for the upcoming two years, with art and culture taking centre stage in Slovenian tourism. Maribor Tourism is preparing new exciting experiences together with local cultural institutions and providers. One such example is the innovative cultural experience highlighted also during their presentation at WTM is "Poišči me v... (Find me in...)" which involves the participation of eight Maribor institutions.
Bled Tourism underscores that Bled not only boasts extraordinary natural beauty but also thrives as a vibrant cultural hub. Amongst the noteworthy developments, they have highlighted the Lah Museum of Contemporary Art, a project brought to life by the Lah family in cooperation with architect David Chipperfield. The museum is set to exhibit over 800 contemporary works of art from the family's private collection.
Revamped and futuristic: Slovenian stand at WTM London
Slovenia is unveiling a refreshed and upgraded stand at WTM London, spotlighting a modular exhibition space that will serve as a centrepiece at numerous forthcoming domestic and global events. This visionary exhibition space is characterized by its sustainability and inclusivity, marked by cutting-edge technologies. The space is elegantly furbished with contemporary LED panels, featuring top-tier video content with elements of artificial intelligence.
Aligned with the contemporary trend of personalized engagement, the exhibition space incorporates new experience points and innovative, relaxed settings for both formal and informal discussions. These areas offer personalized experiences for business interactions within the Slovenian tourism industry and with foreign business communities. Furthermore, there is also a special lounge, which will function as a central hub for presentations, discussions, or gatherings.
Sustainability has been a strong focal point in the revitalization of the exhibition space, with an emphasis on using environmentally friendly materials, incorporating recycled wooden components, and repurposing elements showing signs of wear from previous years.
Travel talks with Dr. Noah Charney
On Tuesday, November 7, the Slovenian stand hosted exclusive travel talks led by Dr. Noah Charney. These talks were tailored for a select audience of specialized media, influencers, and tourism industry decision-makers, but recordings of these engaging conversations can also be found on the Feel Slovenia YouTube channel.
MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana Tourism, talked about the sustainable transformation of Ljubljana. The city has undergone significant infrastructural changes over the last 15 years, creating a welcoming environment where even locals now enjoy spending their leisure time. She emphasized the importance of steering tourist flows and maintaining a balance: "It is crucial for tourism to grow organically, and we bear a significant responsibility. We continually monitor the satisfaction of both locals and foreign visitors, which remains notably high for a European capital."
The discussion on long-distance hiking trails, featuring the Juliana Trail and the Alpe Adria Trail, included insights from Klemen Langus, Director of Bohinj Tourism, Tit Potočnik, Director of Triglav National Park (TNP), Rudolf Abraham, journalist and author of the Juliana Trail Hiking Guide, and Trevor Claringbold, Creative Director of Globetrotter TV. They underscored the significance of these routes, with Langus describing the experience as "an invitation to their living room". Potočnik stressed the importance of cooperation between the tourism industry and the national park, while Claringbold emphasized that "promoting the product is not just about walking the trail; it's about storytelling".
In the third discussion, the spotlight fell on Marko Drpić from TipoRenesansa and Danijel Omerzel from Ljubljana Tourism. They delved into the enchanting world of handicraft workshops provided by the Slovenian capital as a truly authentic experience. Omerzel noted: "The World Travel Report highlights that 65 percent of tourists are actively seeking alternatives and unique experiences. Our workshops beautifully encapsulate this sought-after experience."
During the final talk, Dr. Noah Charney hosted Tine Murn. The focal point of their talk was the prestigious European Capital of Culture title, an honour to be held by Nova Gorica and Gorica in 2025. Tine Murn emphasized the significance of the title and underscored that it represents a tremendous opportunity to showcase the country, both in terms of culture and tourism. Murn expressed that when developing the capital of culture, one should concentrate on three key aspects: first, there's the need to consider how the designation will benefit the local population, second, there's the planning of the cultural programme, which should be diverse, engaging, and reflective of the region's unique cultural identity. And lastly, there's the tourism aspect: "We should innovate and leverage this cross-border project to encourage people to explore and appreciate this region for years to come."
Slovenia's NFT experience at City Nation Place Global
Following the WTM, the City Nation Place Global conference is set to take place in London. On Thursday, November 9, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) will present the Ultimate Julian Alps Sensory Experience as part of a panel on digitalization and the use of artificial intelligence in tourism. This project showcases how an exclusive digital souvenir can become a unique Slovenian experience. In May 2023, 15 foreign prominent media representatives, each holding an exclusive NFT digital souvenir, redeemed it for an exceptional Julian Alps experience. This innovative project, created in partnership between the STB and the Julian Alps, emphasizes the importance of responsible environmental protection by drawing attention to the issue of vanishing plant and animal species.
City Nation Place Global stands as one of the most prestigious and significant conferences worldwide, focusing on best practices in tourism, brand management, and reputation building.
Slovenia and Ljubljana shine at Wanderlust Readers' Choice Awards
On Tuesday evening, the distinguished UK travel magazine Wanderlust unveiled its prestigious Reader Travel Awards. Among the celebrated winners were Slovenia, which secured the 7th spot in the highly competitive category of the most desirable European destinations, and Ljubljana, ranking a remarkable 9th place in the category of the most desirable European cities. These accolades, which reflect the preferences of Wanderlust magazine's discerning readers, underscore the growing appeal of these exceptional destinations.
Wanderlust, a renowned British travel and destination magazine with a 30-year legacy, has put strong focus on promoting sustainable tourism. For over two decades, they have been recognizing outstanding destinations through their Reader Travel Awards.
Slovenia's presence in Wanderlust magazine is not coincidental. For instance, in a May article titled "Short break guide: Julian Alps, Slovenia," author Steve Fallon curated an inspiring list of unforgettable experiences in the region. Furthermore, this year, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) partnered with Wanderlust for a successful joint promotional campaign with the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ). These awards reaffirm the timeless charm and enduring allure of Slovenia and Ljubljana on the global travel stage.