Spotlight on Slovenia’s health tourism on ITB Berlin's closing day

Published: 7.3.2024

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Spotlight on Slovenia’s health tourism on ITB Berlin's closing day

On the closing day of ITB Berlin, Slovenia stands in the spotlight for receiving the esteemed ITB Medical & Health Tourism Award, presented to the STB. This accolade celebrates advancements in promoting and nurturing medical tourism. Additionally, Miren Kras earned a coveted spot on the prestigious Green Destinations Top 100 Stories list, further highlighting Slovenia's commitment to sustainability.

Spotlight on Slovenia’s health tourism on ITB Berlin's closing day

The Slovenian Tourist Board has been honoured as the recipient of the prestigious ITB Medical & Health Tourism Award for 2024. This esteemed accolade serves to recognize and celebrate exceptional achievements within the medical tourism. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 6, at ITB Berlin.

Year after year, a panel of esteemed professionals in the field of health tourism meticulously selects a destination, region, or association that has demonstrated remarkable efforts and accomplishments. In the rationale for 2024, Slovenia's recent strides in developing sustainable tourism products, especially in the realms of healthy cuisine and health tourism, were underscored. These endeavours have been systematically guided and supported by the Slovenian Tourist Board for many years.

This award solidifies Slovenia's prominent position on the global map as a premier destination for health tourism and well-being, a status to which the STB significantly has contributed through its multifaceted efforts for many years. From promotional and communication endeavours to spearheading the promotion and advancement of sustainable tourism practices, alongside fostering close cooperation with stakeholders and esteemed international institutions, the STB has played a pivotal role. Last year, spa municipalities accounted for a fifth of all tourist overnight stays in the country.

Iztok Altbauer, Chair of the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas, underscored: "The award is a testament to the remarkable international acclaim achieved by Slovenian thermal and spa tourism. Over 15 years of dedicated efforts in development, quality enhancement, promotion, and, notably, the visibility of Slovenian natural spas as a paramount 'health and well-being' offer, have culminated in the highest honour at the ITB in Berlin. This esteemed event gathers the global elite of the tourism industry, all of whom have recognized the significance and value of one of Slovenia's premier tourism products. Thus, this award also serves as affirmation of the exceptional cooperation and endeavours of those involved in crafting the thermal and health product alongside the Slovenian Tourist Board."

Iztok Altbauer, Chair of the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas, and Rebeka Kumer Bizjak, Head of the STB’s Representation Office in Germany, receiving the ITB Medical & Health Tourism Award.

As a recipient of the ITB Medical & Health Tourism Award, the STB, in cooperation with the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas and Slovenian tourism, has been prominently featured at ITB over the past few days. This recognition has been showcased through a range of activities, including press presentations, appearances at the ITB Medical & Health Education Centre, and on-stage presentations at the ITB Medical & Health Tourism Pavilion.

Miren Karst among the best sustainability stories

During the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories awards ceremony at ITB on Wednesday, Slovenia's Miren Kras secured a well-deserved spot on this prestigious list.

In the Environment and Climate category, Miren Kras stood out for its impactful Together for the Karst campaign. Born out of collaboration between three municipalities and the non-profit organization Vrabček upanja (Sparrow of Hope), this initiative emerged in response to a devastating fire in the summer of 2022. The campaign's primary goal was to support the reconstruction of the affected area and the establishment of a new green hiking trail. This innovative endeavour not only aims to raise awareness about climate change but also serves to empower and stimulate tourism development in the region.

Miren Kras among the best sustainable stories with its Together for the Karst project.

Slovenia as a sustainable destination brimming with vibrant art and cultural experiences

Presenting Slovenia as a sustainable destination brimming with vibrant art and cultural experiences, ITB Berlin, the premier international tourism trade fair, started in Berlin on Tuesday and concludes today at 6 pm. Under the auspices of the STB, 26 destinations, associations and companies are showcasing their offer at the I feel Slovenia stand.

Nova Gorica's designation as the European Capital of Culture 2025 receives particular emphasis amidst the exhibitors.

Among the exhibitors is the Sava Hotels & Resorts Group, represented by Sales Director Metka Erjavec Granov, who remarked: "ITB Berlin, as Europe's largest travel trade fair, provides us with an exceptional platform for fostering new business opportunities. We are delighted with this year's participation. In just the first two days, we conducted over 30 meetings, engaged in numerous training sessions, and attended panels covering topics such as digitalization, AI and emerging technological solutions. We've observed a rising demand for value-added and outdoor products. The strength of Sava Hotels & Resorts, as Slovenia's largest hotel chain spanning the country's most picturesque locales – from the Pannonian spas to Bled and the Slovenian coast – lies in the diversity of our offer. Despite the prevailing trends of digitalization and generative artificial intelligence, ITB Berlin reaffirms that, ultimately, business in tourism thrives on human connection."

Throughout the duration of the event, the Slovenian stand serves as a hub for engaging discussions centered around arts and culture in shaping the tourism landscape. Recordings of these Travel Talks are available on the Feel Slovenia YouTube channel.

Over the past few days, the STB and Slovenia as a whole have garnered significant attention amidst the bustling atmosphere of ITB Berlin: they were honoured with the Best of the Alps Awards and The Golden City Gate Awards, further solidifying their visibility within the global tourism community.

In the cover photo, Rebeka Kumer Bizjak, Head of the STB Representation in Germany, and Iztok Altbauer, Chair of the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas, alongside members of the jury during the reception of the ITB Medical & Health Tourism Award

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