STB wins Best of the Alps Award and five Golden City Gate awards at ITB Berlin

Published: 6.3.2024

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STB wins Best of the Alps Award and five Golden City Gate awards at ITB Berlin

The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has been honoured with the prestigious Best of the Alps Award for 2024. This recognition celebrates STB's efforts in showcasing Slovenia as a sustainable tourist destination on the global stage. At ITB Berlin, five of STB's promotional projects were also recognized by experts in The Golden City Gate international competition for their outstanding contribution to tourism promotion.

STB wins Best of the Alps Award and five Golden City Gate awards at ITB Berlin

The Best of the Alps Award, presented by the Best of the Alps Board of Directors, honours individuals, companies and institutions for their exceptional contributions to the cultural, social, political and economic vitality of the Alpine region. In 2024, this esteemed accolade was unanimously bestowed upon the Slovenian Tourist Board for its commitment to fostering sustainable tourism development. Slovenia, renowned for its pristine natural beauty, long-term sustainable practices and excellent value proposition, exemplifies the essence of this award. Nicolas Durochat, President of Best of the Alps, presented the award to Matjaž Han, Minister of the Economy, Tourism, and Sport, and MSc. Maja Pak Olaj, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board during the Slovenian Evening in Berlin on Tuesday. Durochat also praised Slovenian hospitality and the Slovenian Tourist Board's effective efforts in promoting and positioning Slovenia in the global tourism market.

The Slovenian evening also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the agreement establishing the Alpine Conservation Park, precursor to the Triglav National Park. At the event, Dr. Tit Potočnik, Director of the Triglav National Park, and Dr. Roland Baier, Director of the German National Park Berchtesgaden, signed Letters of Intent to foster cooperation between the two parks. This partnership signifies a significant strategic alliance in the Alps, bridging the Julian Alps and the German Alpine region of Berchtesgaden Land.

Dr. Tit Potočnik, Director of the Triglav National Park Public Institute, remarked: "This year, the Triglav National Park celebrates 100 years since the establishment of its predecessor, the Alpine Conservation Park. The celebration's slogan, 'Conservation is Existence,' underscores the importance of preserving nature, leading to the establishment of Slovenia's only national park in this region. As one of the 13 national parks in the Alps, the Triglav National Park shares similar challenges with the Berchtesgaden National Park in Germany, with which we are forging ties. Given that German visitors constitute the majority of tourists in the Julian Alps, collaboration with the Slovenian Tourist Board is vital to ensuring they are well-informed and aware of the region's offerings, enabling them to make the most of their leisure time in the Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps Biosphere Area."

The event also saw the launch of the award-winning Primetime, the latest series of Elan skis, 100% made in Slovenia. The event marks the start of closer cooperation between the Elan brand and the STB, especially in the German market, which is the most important for Elan and Slovenian tourism.

The Director of the Winter Sports Division and Vice President of the Elan Group, MSc. Leon Korošec, expressed great pride in Slovenia's reception of the 'Best of the Alps' award: "This recognition signifies Slovenia's dedication to Alpine values, environmental stewardship and acknowledges the contributions of Slovenian tourism, sports and business sectors. It firmly positions Slovenia within the developed Alpine space of Europe, reflecting its excellence and influence. Elan, deeply rooted in the Slovenian Alps, shares this commitment to the Alpine region. The opportunity to participate in the prestigious ITB underscores the significance of the German market, a strategic focus for Elan's growth."

The event unfolded at the Bolle Festsaal in central Berlin, attracting around 200 distinguished guests from various sectors including tourism, diplomacy, media and sports. The program featured performances by Slovenian artists based in Germany and the renowned Sašo Avsenik Ensemble. The Avsenik name holds global recognition, particularly in German-speaking regions, embodying the spirit of the Alpine identity.

The Golden City Gate: Five Bears for the Slovenian Tourist Board

This morning, the Golden City Gate Awards ceremony unfolded. Esteemed by organizers as an international platform celebrating tourism films and multimedia content, it embodies the creative essence of the tourism industry.

In a remarkable achievement, all five STB's projects received awards: NFT - a top sensory experience in the Julian Alps, Texas Feels Slovenia 2023 and the 'Slovenia, a sports destination' publication secured the gold prize, while the new Slovenian tourism stand clinched the silver prize. Additionally, the Feel Slovenia Reels earned an 'excellent' prize. These accolades not only garner increased international attention but also elevate Slovenia's global standing.

NFT The Ultimate Julian Alps Sensory Adventure

In May 2023, the STB and the Julian Alps organised The Ultimate Julian Alps Sensory Adventure for representatives of 15 renowned foreign media, who cashed their exclusive NFT digital souvenir as a ticket to this unique event. he project highlighted the importance of a responsible attitude towards nature by drawing attention to the issue of disappearing species of flora and fauna in an innovative way, using advanced technology. The link between the digital souvenir and an experience in a destination recognised for its outstanding respect for the environment impressed journalists.

Texas Feels Slovenia 2023

Given its population of 332 million, the United States is an important market for Slovenia's economy and tourism, offering abundant prospects. To increase its visibility, Slovenia hosted the Texas Feels Slovenia business and investment event in Dallas in March 2023. This comprehensive initiative showcased Slovenia's economic, tourism and investment potential through a collaborative business conference and an exciting I Feel Slovenia Night at a basketball game between Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls. This unique project not only effectively promoted Slovenia but also facilitated numerous business opportunities in the US market, leveraging the visibility of Slovenian basketball star and tourism ambassador Luka Dončić.

Slovenia: A Top Sports Destination

The 'Slovenia, A Top Sports Destination' publication caters primarily to specialized tourist organizations, sports training agencies,and organizers of professional and amateur sports clubs, as well as international sports events. However, it also appeals to sports journalists and other professionals in the field. Highlighting exceptional opportunities for sports training and organizing competitions across various disciplines, the publication also delves into rehabilitation and prevention strategies for athletes. It invites fans to explore Slovenia's tourism offer while showcasing the country's rich fan culture. Enriched with insights from prominent Slovenian sports figures and key contributors to sports tourism, this 72-page bilingual publication in Slovenian and English serves as a comprehensive guide to Slovenia's vibrant sports scene.

I Feel Slovenia at ITB Berlin: 26 destinations and providers brought to the spotlight

Germany stands as the most important market for Slovenian tourism, with German visitors contributing nearly 1.9 million overnight stays in 2023, comprising 16% of all foreign stays. Notably, this marked a substantial 24% increase from 2019. Key municipalities hosting German visitors included Ljubljana, Bovec, Piran, Bled and Radovljica.

Underlining the market's significance, Slovenia's tourism economy and destinations showcased their offer at the global ITB Berlin event. Nova Gorica, named the European Capital of Culture 2025, spearheads the engaging animation at the event.

Travel Talks on Arts and Culture: Engaging sessions for journalists, experts and decision-makers

Throughout the fair's duration, the Slovenian stand hosts insightful discussions on culture and art travel. These sessions cater to a select group of journalists, industry experts and decision-makers, providing them with the opportunity to listen to speakers in the comfort of the Slovenian stand's lounge, facilitated by headphones.

On Tuesday, Dr. Lars Felner, a renowned German expert and translator of Slovenian literature, joined Sammy Salm, CEO of Best of the Alps, to explore the influence of Slovenian intangible cultural heritage on Alpine region tourism promotion. Later, musician Sašo Avsenik shared insights into music's integral role in Slovenian cultural heritage.

Today, discussions centered on the integration of the European Capital of Culture into Slovenia's tourism promotion, featuring Dubravka Kalin from the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, Andreja Repič Agrež, Marketing Manager for GO2025 and Frizzi Seltmann, Marketing and Communications Manager for Chemnitz 2025. In the afternoon, attention turned to the significance of destinations in film art, with contributions from Joachim Hellinger of the European Outdoor Film Festival and journalist-producer Tom Jutzllerf.

On Thursday, the talks will conclude with a discussion on Slovenian art in the German space.

You can listen to recordings of the talks on the Feel Slovenia YouTube channel.

You can follow the ITB Berlin highlights on the STB's corporate profiles on X and LinkedIn.

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