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Photo Credit: Nino Verdnik, Blenda

Slovenia is hosting the 103rd European Travel Commission’s General Meeting between 18 and 20 May. The event is taking place in Ljubljana. So far, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has presented its sustainable efforts with an emphasis on the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism and plans for the future.

In her address to the directors of national tourism organizations, Ilona Stermecki, Acting Director of the STB, pinpointed that Slovenia has defined its vision of tourism, focusing on the development of balanced green boutique tourism of higher quality, with cultural identity and local character. Slovenia has also presented the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism as an example of good practice in the field of promoting the development of sustainable tourism and Bohinj as the first holder of the platinum label.

A part of the event is also the Industry Forum on Sustainable Tourism Practices, which discusses the importance of the tourism sector’s focus on sustainability and climate action in times of crisis that we have witnessed in recent years. The event is attended by more than 70 registered participants from 30 countries.

“It has been heartening to see the brightest minds in the sector come together in Ljubljana to strategise on the sustainability and environmental issues that will impact us in the future.”

Commenting on the General Meeting, ETC President Luís Araújo stated: “Despite the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing our sector, national tourist authorities throughout Europe are right to be hopeful about the resurgence in tourism predicted for this summer season. It has been heartening to see the brightest minds in the sector come together in Ljubljana to strategise on the sustainability and environmental issues that will impact us for the months and years ahead.”

“It is also symbolic that we are hosting our discussion on sustainability in Slovenia, which has been at the forefront of the green transition in European tourism. I would also like to thank the Slovenian Tourist Board for its great hospitality in hosting the ETC’s General Meeting and showcasing their sustainability practices first-hand,” he added.

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Photo Credit: Nino Verdnik, Blenda

“Coordinated action in all areas will contribute to the further development of boutique, genuine, connecting tourism. Of course, it will require us to work even more sustainably, in a connected, high-quality, innovative way.”

Participants of the forum and the directors of European national tourism organizations were also addressed by Ilona Stermecki, Acting Director of the STB. She highlighted Slovenia’s more than 10 years of experience in sustainable tourism and the positive effects of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST), which is run under the auspices of the STB: “The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism has done a lot in raising awareness that sustainability is the only correct way to develop tourism and an all-encompassing system that affects various segments of society and many industries, thanks to its multiplicative nature. Today, as much as 90% of all tourist arrivals are generated by Slovenia Green destinations. We are proud that today the highest, i.e. platinum Slovenia Green label, has been awarded to four destinations already. Bohinj has this year been joined by Ljubljana, Laško and Čatež and Brežice. To date, a total of more than 200 Slovenia Green labels have been awarded in different categories.”

She also emphasized the great importance of coordinated action of all tourism stakeholders for even more sustainable and resilient tourism: “Coordinated action in all areas will contribute to the further development of boutique, genuine, connecting tourism. Of course, it will require us to work even more sustainably, in a connected, high-quality, innovative way. However, only in this way will we create added value that will help us continue to invest in even better infrastructure, sustainable projects and people. In Slovenian tourism, we are aware that this path is also paved with appropriate infrastructure in the digital environment. To this end, we have developed a 2022-2026 Digital Transformation Strategy, which, among other things, has taken into account key strategic guidelines at the EU level, which also include documents from the European Travel Commission. The same as in the Green Story, we want Slovenia to become an example of a smart destination in the digital environment.”

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Photo Credit: Nino Verdnik, Blenda

As part of the event, the STB will present its sustainable efforts with an emphasis on the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism and plans for the future. The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism is a key platform for the development of green tourism and the implementation of sustainable projects in Slovenian tourism. The progress in recent years has been great, visible both at the management level and at the destinations. At the management level, three new tools have been developed in the last year: A green and healthy office, friendly to Slovenia; Green events and a Commitment to less plastic, and more sustainability. This year, the STB has also prepared a sustainability report, which assesses the sustainability of the tourism board itself. The next challenges of the STB are aimed at addressing the sustainability of destinations through the concrete data, even more intensive work with providers and even more intensive intertwining of sustainable development and destination management at the national level.

Participants in the ETC’s General Meeting will get to know the tourist offer of Ljubljana and Bled on study tours.


To learn more about the ETC’s General Meeting, taking place in Ljubljana, click here.

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