Meetologue 2015

OFF THE BEATEN MICE TRACK

The first association you’ll get when you think of Upper Savinja Valley is with a number of different municipalities, as the Valley covers a magical seven of them: Mozirje, Nazarje, Gordnji Grad, Rečica ob Savinji, Ljubno, Luče and Solčava together represent a rounded geographical area of outstanding natural beauty that has a special charm thanks to its four glacial valleys, The Logar valley, Matkov kot, Robanov kot and Lučko Belo.

Logar Valley is considered as one of the most beautiful alpine valleys in Europe, which in 1987 was declared as a landscape park. It offers numerous natural attractions, such as cultural, ethnological and archaeological attractions, and its experiential identity creates a rich architectural, artistic and urban heritage.

DID YOU KNOW?:
LJUBNO – Cradle of women’s ski jumping
The first attempts at jumping took place there before the Second World War and after 1947 a contract to build a 60-metre ski jump was signed with Stanko Bloudek from Planica, the legendary ski-jump hill engineer. Since then, the ski jumps have been constantly upgraded and improved. As the first organiser of the continental cup for women Ljubno made an extremely important campaign on the international scene in holding the first meeting of countries that had relatively developed woman ski-jumpers. After the long and hard road they had to travel, female jumpers finally won their hard-earned place in this discipline.

The Savinja river has formed a very diverse landscape from its source under Okrešelj to a gorge at Letuš, where the Lower Savinja Valley or Celje Valley continues, with the most striking stretch being the Savinja Alps west of Raduha. The whole region is extremely mountainous as 70% of the territory lies at more than 600m above sea level. Alongside the interesting cultural heritage it offers an unprecedented experiential diversity that is embodied by the stunningly picturesque Logar Valley, the setting for the filming of the famous advertisement “Slovenia my country” because of its exceptional nature.

Untouched nature/ Throughout history the economy of this region has been based on the extensive forest and timber trades, with livestock breeding also an important strand. As a result of this rafting began here in the 16th century and Mozirje developed as a central point of the region. To reach the valley in the headwaters of the Savinja at the Solčavsko area it is just a one and a half hour’s drive from Ljubljana and along the road you will come across areas that are completely authentic with untouched nature and many culinary specialities.

It was before the Second World War that tourism started to develop here, as the Logar Valley was already known then as a tourist and vacation spot. The Upper Savinja Valley was not hit by the wave of mass construction of tourist facilities at the end of 60s and fortunately the valley remained intact with its ecologically clean nature maintained.

Tourism/ Today, people in this area largely live off tourism, which given their local natural resources is certainly not difficult to attract, with numerous tourist farms and other offers such as hiking, climbing, mountain-biking, archery, paragliding, rafting and in the winter the alpine and cross-country skiing, sledding, recreational skiing and much more.

The summer tourist season is the most important one though. Water sports such as rafting on Savinja river are very popular. Winter season takes place mainly at Golte, which following investment in a renovation is among most modern of Slovenian ski resorts.

The Upper Savinja Valley offers three camps that mostly attract foreign tourists looking pitch up in the midst of nature and participate in sports activities. In Luče there is the Šmica camp, at Spodnje Pobrežje the Savinja camp and on the left bank of the Savinja is the Menina camp. Upper Savinja also offers some hotel accommodations and the valley has a total of six hotels, including Hotel Golte, which in 2010 underwent a thorough renovation. In the Upper Savinja Valley you can find a wide range of tourist farms, most of them being are at Solčavo, Lučkih and Ljubno Hills.

The legendary Hotel Plesnik is the one that can claim to be the origin of congress tourism in the valley. The Plesnik family has been involved in the hotel industry more than 60 years and they are famous for excellent facilities and the fact that guests are guaranteed discretion and the ability to escape the world’s prying eyes. Consequently they often have high visit levels, all spreading the good word about the hotel and the valley. With a comprehensive and innovative offer the hotel is a very common decision for congress and incentive groups, no less so because of the world-class cuisine and hospitality of the Plesnik family.

Hotel Golte, located by the top cable car station, can be reached by an 8-minute cable car ride that brings you right to the reception at an altitude of 1,430m. The hotel has 54 rooms and a modern conference hall for 100 people. Many people think that this is the best ski slope with guaranteed snow, but it’s even more attractive in the summer season. A rich offer is rounded off by excellent incentive options in the Savinjska and Šaleška valley, accompanied by an interesting local culinary tradition, which goes hand in hand with all the incentive programmes.

There is also the legendary Mozirska cottage that exudes relaxation and attracts cheerful gatherings where you will enjoy the genuine Slovenian alpine experience, be it playing alpine billiards or learning to bake homemade bread.

The full offer is rounded off with incentive programme providers who delight with their authenticity, sincerity and honest products. The Menina camp, owned by Jurij Kolenc, is something of an epicentre of this and with the help of its team you will learn all about the life, the joys and difficulties of local people, experience real rafting, test yourself in the adrenalin park or by sorbing.

A special story of the valley can be found in Luče, where House Raduha is located and is a spot that, with its first-class cuisine, will satisfy even the most demanding congress guests. The restaurant is considered to be one of the best in Slovenia, after which you can also spend the night in a hayrack. The entire facility represents a merger of tradition, modern architecture, nature and exquisite food.

Far from the traditional hotel resorts often with their generic offer, the Herbal Glamping in Ljubno ob Savinji offers you a freshness for both the body and the soul, as well as an unforgettable experience. As part of a new brand, ‘Charming Slovenia’ is planning to open a number of such ‘glamping’ resorts that will be located in different parts of the country. The first, located in Ljubno ob Savinji, opened in late August in 2015 and is designed as a boutique resort with a central theme of herbs and spices. The resort is suitable for small meeting groups of up to 40 participants who get the chance to experience a very special energy and genuine contact with nature. Attendees will gather around the campfire as their central outdoor event space, one that is calling out for social teambuilding activities or just socialising with the memories of old scouting time in mind… The entire village is interwoven with sustainable stories, from its idyllic herb and vegetable gardens to the natural pool.

In the Upper Savinja Valley guests today are particularly looking for the kind of pleasures in nature that are becoming less and less in today’s mass tourism. If the Upper Savinja Valley is for now considered as an excursion point, in the future it will for sure become a significant incentive point in Slovenia. They have everything an offer needs, it’s just that congress guests don’t yet know it due to a lack of connectivity. You will be hard pushed to find so many incentive pearls in such a small area in Slovenia or anywhere else. With such a range and exclusivity of supply this is one of the largest congress hidden gems of Slovenia.

WHAT'S HOT IN 2015

World Cup Ski Jumping Ladies: It’s one of the most attractive winter sports events that will take place from 13th to 14th February 2016.

Raftsmen ball is a traditional event that has been held in Ljubno ob Savinji since 1961 in memory of all things rafting.

An exhibition of flowers that has the tradition of being annually opened on May 1st.

Held in the last weekend of July to display the pulse of the city in which they lived many years ago.

This carnival has quite a long tradition, as the first written sources talk about “Mozirje Pustnaki” being already active around 1891. The procession that includes at least one or more local stories from the past year has become one of the key elements of the carnival.

DESTINATION GRADE

3.96

QUALITY MEETINGS DESTINATION
grade:
5 – excellent meetings destination
4 – quality meetings destination
3 – reccommendable meetings destination
2 – average meetings destination
1 – so so

NATURAL AND CULTURAL FACTORS Grade: 4.72

The Valley boasts a pristine and ecologically clean nature. The area has over 100 natural, cultural, historical, ethnographic and archaeological attractions. There are plenty of options for recreation and incentive programmes. This is a region with exceptional tourist potential and a high experiential value.

GENERAL AND TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE Grade: 4.20

Given its location the valley is less accessible and the main transport hub is the regional road from the Lower Savinja Valley. Travellers are often surprised by the good municipal services, however, and all of the municipal centres have wastewater treatment plants. The main challenge is public transport, which is currently not properly regulated other than in the high summer tourist season

TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE grade: 4.42

There is a lot of potential for the development of congress tourism in the valley and the number of visitors is increasing year on year, especially in the summer. In addition to the traditional tourism at Golte and Logar Valley, camping near Savinja is also popular. The EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence award) award given to Solčavo in 2009 has contributed to its profile and visibility.

MEETINGS INFRASTRUCTURE grade: 4.05

The pioneer of congress tourism in the valley is certainly the Plesnik family with its legendary hotel. They have been synonymous with boutique congress tourism at the highest level for many years. As a result of their offer and professionalism many corporate and government clients have learned about its advantages. Others are slowly following them and together they are building a recognizable brand.

SUBJECTIVE grade: 4.53

The selected suppliers and their offer are an undiscovered incentive pearl of Slovenia in the heart of the SAVINJSKIH ALP regional park. Unfortunately they stand apart and without the clear strategic orientation that would enable them to bring the most demanding congress guests into the valley. An incentive office that should be placed above the partial municipal interests would be a great help. The prospects for the marketing and sales of an integrated congress product are enormous.

MARKETING BUZZ grade: 4.39

In terms of promotion the individual suppliers are left to themselves. Some of them, like Hotel Plesnik, are carrying out a superior level of marketing, but a more connected tourism appearance could really improve the visibility of the entire valley. Disconnected marketing of destinations within individual municipalities or micro-meeting destinations simply won’t produce the kind of results required or desired.

BEST INCENTIVE IDEA

1. Cycling through the Solčava panoramic road: Cycling along the most picturesque Slovenian alpine route, the trail leads through unspoiled nature offering breathtaking panoramas of immense peaks and lush valleys whilst simultaneously telling the tale of the harmony of pristine nature and human ingenuity.

2. Experiencing a true mountain tourist farm: A presentation of peasant traditions, tasting selected dishes and participating in workshops of baking delicious pastries or preparing selected local dishes.

3. Kayaking or rafting: Rafting on the quiet river is possible from May to October, with the entire programme taking a solid two hours.

4. Herbal workshops: The Glamping Resort is connected to its herb and vegetable gardens. At their workshops you will learn about herbs and their use in the manufacture of cosmetics, teas, liquors and herbal spirits.

COMPARISION WITH THE REGION

Upper Savinja Valley is one of Slovenia’s natural jewels of. Its tourism offer is undoubtedly getting more diverse with every passing year, but still many of its foreign guests are not getting a comprehensive source of information about the full range of events and activities offer. The valley can be compared with the Soča Valley, which in many respects has a similar congress offer and the advantage of a functioning destination organisation (LTO Sotočje). Both valleys are two uncut diamonds of the Slovenian meetings offer that we believe will sooner or later be discovered by European event organisers. Given the advantages of this valley that is really impressive with its diversity, its natural resources and the charms of the Savinja river, it will undoubtedly succeed.

COOL MEETINGS

ZGORNJE – SAVINJSKI STOMACH: One of the most famous dishes is certainly the geographically protected Zgornje-Savinjski stomach – dried sausage made from high-quality pork meat and bacon.

WHO TO CONTACT

Dolina Avantur d.o.o.
Luče 103
SI-3334 Luče, Slovenia
Mobile: +386 51 606 410, +386 51 606 420
Web: www.adventurevalley.si
e-mail: info@adventurevalley.si

TIC Logarska Dolina
Logarska dolina 9
SI-3335 Solčava
Tel.: 03 838 90 04  |  Fax: 03 838 90 03
info@logarska.si  |  www.logarska-dolina.si

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