We have the hundreth recipient of the Slovenia Green Label
Sustainable tourism is the foundation of Slovenian tourism to which all its key stakeholders and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) have committed within the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST). Over one hundred stakeholders have been included in it in less than six years. This unique national programme, whose practical and effective tool introduces sustainable business models into Slovenian tourism and speeds them up, and enhances the basis for the marketing of green products and services, has drawn a lot of attention worldwide, which is reflected in various awards and exposures as a model of best practice.
Photos and text: Slovenian Tourist Board©
The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism is a national programme and a certification scheme, which combines all efforts put into the sustainable development of tourism in Slovenia, provides specific tools for the assessment and improvement of sustainable operation to destinations and providers, and promotes the green approach under the umbrella Slovenia Green quality label.
"In less than six years, 53 tourist destinations, 45 accommodation providers, four nature parks, two tourist agencies, and a site have been included in the GSST. Together with this year's destinations that are in the process of obtaining the Slovenia Green label, we cover 80 per cent of all tourist arrivals. We are pleased with the extraordinary response and willingness to be included in the scheme, since sustainability is the only guarantee that guests will enjoy a high-quality experience and locals will have a high-quality life. We have set the goal for Slovenia to become a 100 per cent green country, and we are delighted to find that we are on track to its attainment, since most leading destinations already carry the Slovenia Green label. I am happy that the scheme has become internationally recognised and awarded for its effective implementation into practice," pointed out Mag. Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board. "I commend all who have recognised green as the right way to function and provide quality at various levels."
Nebesa Chalets are the hundredth
Destinations which entered the process of obtaining the Slovenia Green Destination label last year have successfully concluded the process after a year and obtained the following labels: the Soča Valley (Kobarid, Bovec, Tolmin) and Radovljica obtained the gold label, while Luče, Cerklje na Gorenjskem and Tržič obtained the bronze label. The GSST now comprises a total of 53 tourist destinations which completed eleven key steps, met the Green Destination standard criteria, and were assessed in six categories (Destination Management, Nature and Landscape, Environment and Climate, Culture and Tradition, Social Climate, and Operations of Tourism Businesses).
14 February marked the deadline for the submission of new applications for the Slovenia Green Destination label. Kranj, Murska Sobota, Izola, Lendava, Gorenja vas-Poljane, and Renče-Vogrsko applied. They face a year-long guided process to obtain the label, and new assessments are expected at the beginning of 2021.
Nature parks (currently four) and tourist agencies (two) may also be included in the GSST, which was joined by the first tourist site (Klet Brda) last year. This year, the scheme was upgraded with the Slovenia Green Beach label which may be obtained by beaches/bathing areas with the blue flag, and the STB plans to expand to gastronomy. A more detailed presentation of the upgrade will take place at the Slovenian sustainable tourism's main event Green Day of Slovenian Tourism which will be held on 22 May.
International recognisability of the GSST and awards
The GSST is distinguished for its comprehensive approach and focus on development, global criteria as the basis for international comparisons (Green Destination Standard used to assess destinations, recognition by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the highest global authority in this area, which gives it international importance), national character, and the fact that it is an excellent tool for the positioning and promotion of Slovenia which has received various flattering prizes and awards for the scheme. Slovenia was the first country in the world to be assessed according to the Global Destination criteria. In 2016, it received the title of the world's first green country and became a model example for the whole world. Slovenia and GSST destinations carrying the Slovenia Green label are regularly listed among Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. In 2018, Slovenia was declared the best destination in Europe Best of the Planet – Best of Europe, and this year, it is again among the finalists for Sustainable Destination Awards 2020.
In 2017, it was awarded the prestigious National Geographic World Legacy Destination Leadership by National Geographic.
Two significant mentions in 2019 attest to the fact that Slovenia has become recognised as a green superpower in recent years, and the GSST has become an example of best practice of integrated and holistic operation for more sustainable solutions.
In its report on European sustainable schemes and their role in promoting sustainability and competitiveness in European tourism (European Sustainability Schemes, July 2019), the European Travel Commission (ETC) highlighted Slovenia as the only destination in the study, which systematically approached the implementation of sustainable schemes.
The European tourism – Recent developments and future challenges (October 2019) study by the European Parliament – Committee on Transport and Tourism provides an overview of the current situation in European tourism with the latest developments, and identifies future challenges and emerging opportunities. In the chapter "Case studies in tourism", the GSST is listed as one of five examples of best practice.
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