Slovenia 1st country in the world with a sustainability rating

Slovenia 1st country in the world with a sustainability rating

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Velika Planina is a dispersed high-elevation settlement of mostly herders' dwellings on the karst Big Pasture Plateau in the Kamnik Alps in Upper Carniola region of Slovenia
Velika Planina is a dispersed high-elevation settlement of mostly herders' dwellings on the karst Big Pasture Plateau in the Kamnik Alps in Upper Carniola region of Slovenia

DUBAI – In 2015, the Slovenian Tourist Board developed the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, a special program used to assess the sustainable operations of Slovenian destinations and operators according to international criteria. The first winner of the Slovenia Green quality label was Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016. Up until now, 12 destinations and 10 operators have been awarded the label, and 16 destinations are in the assessment process. The gala award ceremony for new holders of the green quality label will take place on 27 September within the Global Green Destinations Day international event, when one hundred of the most sustainable destinations and operators in the world will also be revealed and Slovenia’s sustainability rating will be given. Slovenia is the first country in the world to be comprehensively rated according to international sustainability criteria.

Slovenia is a country with green character. Forests cover 58.4% of its area, making it the third most forested country in Europe, and 36% of its area is within the Natura 2000 network. One fifth of its coast is protected, and it is one of the richest European countries with regard to the amount of river water per capita.

By adopting the Green Strategy of Slovenian tourism 2012–2016, Slovenia committed to the sustainable development of tourism and the respect of its green character. Therefore, the Slovenian Tourist Board developed the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism in 2015, a special program for introducing sustainable models in tourism and raising awareness concerning careful environmental management. Within the Green Scheme, it developed the Slovenia Green quality label based on the Green Destinations Standard, the global standard for assessing the sustainable operations of tourist destinations, and the ETIS indicator system.

Since 2015, 12 destinations and 10 operators have joined the Green Scheme. The first destination to be given the Slovenia Green Destination label was Ljubljana, while other holders of the quality label include Kamnik, Idrija, Rogla-Zreče, Radlje ob Dravi, Cerkno, Laško, Žalec, Celje, Velenje, Nova Gorica, and Maribor. The holders of the Slovenia Green Accommodation label are the Thermana Park Hotel in Laško, the Koren Camp in Kobarid, the Terme Snovik Spa, the Urška Tourist Farm, Ortenia – Apartments in Nature, the Trnulja Estate, the Park Hotel in Ljubljana, the Celica Hostel, Pr’ Gavedarjo Design Rooms, and the Jožef Hotel in Idrija. The assessment process now includes 16 destinations.

The Slovenia Green quality label is a commitment and a guarantee that the recipient will operate and improve in accordance with the sustainability principle, reducing the negative effect on the natural and social environment, and preserving and emphasizing the special features of the local environment, identity, and the natural and cultural landscape.

The new recipients of the green label will be announced at the end of September at the two-day Global Green Destination Day (GGDD) international conference in Ljubljana. This will be the highlight of the event, which will gather renowned experts who will introduce the best practices in green and sustainable tourism. On World Tourism Day, i.e. on 27 September, the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations in the world and providers of green business solutions will be announced, and new holders of the Slovenia Green, Quality Coast, and Quality Destinations labels will also be announced. Slovenia is in strong contention for the latter, as it is the first country in Europe to be comprehensively assessed by the Green Destinations international organization according to international sustainability criteria.

Global Green Destinations Day is organized by Green Destinations and the GoodPlace Sustainable Tourism Institute, supported by the main partner and co-organizer Ljubljana Tourism, with the Slovenian Tourist Board as the partner.

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