HIDDEN SUSTAINABLE MEETINGS GEM
Quite a number of weather proverbs are associated with Bohinj, such as the one that ‘in Bohinj the rain has got young ones’ or the famous proverb that ‘we Bohinjci are in the middle of paradise, where winter lasts seven months’. Due to the valley location the microclimate of the lake is also blending in with the weather, so much so that in recent years of changing weather we have often been experiencing just the two seasons: winter and July. It is no wonder then that Bohinj also has its own weather monument in Bohinjska Bistrica!
In reality, Bohinj does not have much more rainfall than nearby Bled or Ljubljana and, despite complaining about the weather, it remains one of the most famous and legendary Slovenian destinations right in the heart of the Julian Alps, famous for its beautiful glacial lake and the location in the middle of the Triglav National Park and the traditional alpine architecture. The Bohinj basin extends into the south-eastern part of the Julian Alps and at the far eastern edge there is the widest part of the Bohinj valley, with the Bohinjska Bistrica village.
In the field of nature and environmental protection Bohinj is a place with a long tradition. It builds its tourism products primarily on nature, and efforts to preserve environmental quality are logically its main priorities. The only possible form of tourism development in such an area is sustainable and in this direction, Bohinj has recently developed intensively. Of the entire territory of the Municipality of Bohinj 66% is situated in a protected area of the Triglav National Park and due to this the preservation of the rich cultural heritage is also high on the list of tourism priorities.
An important factor in the development of tourism was the railway line linking Vienna to Trieste since 1906. Soon after the establishment of the line the first Slovenian Alpine Hotel Triglav was formed in Bohinjska Bistrica, which was the forerunner of today’s Bohinj Park EKO Hotel. However, due to the general condition of Slovenian railways that link is not much used and not too welcoming for passengers.
Road access, on the other hand, is solid, but throws up the lingering issue of the not-yet-built Bled bypass, which causes occasional traffic jams. There is also the desired and expected cycle path between Bled and Bohinj, also on the wish list for many years. The local road infrastructure has also become obsolete with an irregular traffic regime, which is most problematic in the high summer season. Otherwise, Bohinj is near to the major incoming markets, which is one of the benefits. To the central Slovenian motorway it is 25 km, to the Brnik airport just 50 km.
The poor quality of the majority of accommodation facilities is a major challenge for Bohinj tourism. The accommodation offer is split between hotels and many private guesthouses and apartments. The flagship of the offer is Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, which was built with great attention to the environment and as such is currently one of the most advanced, energy efficient accommodation complexes in Central Europe.
Since its opening in June 2009 Bohinj Park EKO hotel has been much dedicated to sustainability issues, and in May 2010 it officially became the first eco-resort in Slovenia, which boasts a prestigious sustainable Green Globe certificate. Immediately after opening, due to attractive water park it has become the heart of the tourist offer of the valley that functions well also outside the main season. The area of Bohinj is still distinctly tied to the summer and winter tourist seasons and to the period of good weather.
Bohinj is for conference guests also the epicentre of unspoiled nature, clean water, a lake shore accessible to all with a centuries-old tradition in tourism. It seems, however, that all of this is a bit overlooked by the conference delegates. Neighbouring Bled is much more active in this area and the Bohinj brand is not sufficiently present or recognisable across the world. Obviously convention tourism is currently not the first priority in the development of the area – Bohinj is suitable for smaller congress groups, of whom most favour Bohinj in Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, which has 8 conference rooms, the largest one for 150 participants. In addition to this first category there are smaller congress facilities in the Hotel Jezero (30 persons), Hotel Zlatorog (50 persons), and pension Tripič (25 persons). Also awaiting renovation is the hall in the Jože Ažman cultural centre, which can accommodate up to 300 people.
The main thing is that Bohinj shows and is proud to offer an original and very sought-after authentic conference experience. Moreover, in Bohinj one becomes aware of the magnificence of nature and the programmes developed by Bohinjci are respectful of the cultural, social and natural heritage of the valley.
Destination grade: 3,96– QUALITY MEETINGS DESTINATION
5 excellent meetings destination
4 quality meetings destination
3 recommendable convention destination
2 average meetings destination
A. Natural and cultural factors 4,60
Pure, unspoiled nature in the heart of the Julian Alps, peace and quiet, a quality offer, originality and sustainable development are the main attributes of the high experiential value of Bohinj. With its beautiful nature Bohinj is today one of the most recognisable tourist destinations in Slovenia.
B. General and road infrastructure 3,80
Transport infrastructure is poor and outdated and road networks is one of the key local priorities. At the same time, and in line with environmental protection and authenticity values, it is one of the most authentic Slovenian destinations with a high living standard and genuine tranquillity of the local area.
C. Tourist infrastructure 3,90
Apart from the Bohinj Eko Park top hotel there is a lack of accommodation facilities in Bohinj and a lot of them are inadequate for the needs of congress tourism. Among these are mainly different apartments and guesthouses. The catering offer is also average.
D. Meetings infrastructure 3,20
Until the construction of the Bohinj Park EKO Hotel convention activity was not among the priorities. A modern conference centre has brought many incentive groups and other meetings groups to Bohinj that have contributed a lot to de-seasonality and show the way towards a sustainable meetings industry.
E. Subjective grade 4,30
The variety and diversity of the natural environment places Bohinj among the exclusive and superior convention destinations in Slovenia. It is difficult to imagine a better location for sustainable conference programmes.
Comparison with the region:
The majority of congress guests will be sworn lovers of nature and its aesthetic value. Bohinj is a place that is created for sustainable conference programmes and for active incentive experiences. It is a place where without any hesitation you can drink water from the public water supply and from its clean streams. Even the basic network of thematic paths offers ideas for authentic congress programmes. In Slovenia, the beauty of Bohinj can only be matched by its neighbours across the peaks in the Soča Valley, or in Kranjska Gora.
Bohinj cheese is a special type of Emmentaler cheese. A typical ‘loaf’ is heavy, from 45 kg to 55 kg, measures about 60 cm in diameter and is from 8 cm to 15 cm high. The loaf is slightly convex, its rind firm, smooth, dry and golden. Throughout history, the typical traditional way of making Bohinj cheese has adapted and changed. Today, Bohinj cheese from the traditional Emmentaler cheese differs by its golden yellow crust, dimensions, time of ripening, and the distinctive taste that is slightly spicy and reminiscent of walnut kernels.