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Green Day of Slovenian Tourism 2022: Eliminating Disposable Plastic from Tourism

Today, the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism is taking place in Krško. This year, the event highlights the importance of reducing the amount of waste, especially disposable plastics in tourism. In addition, three tourist destinations will be awarded the platinum Slovenia Green label, while three new destinations joined the Green scheme.

This is the sixth edition of the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism, which is intended for all tourism stakeholders and partners of Slovenian tourism who place sustainable development at the very core of their activities. This year, the event takes place in Krško at the Tri Lučke estate and is organized by the STB and the Slovenia Green Consortium, in cooperation with Krško Centre for Enterpreneuership and Tourism (CPT).

The event is dedicated to highlighting important sustainable steps to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment. This year's topic is how to reduce waste, especially plastic. This has become even more important due to the large increase in single-use plastics during the covid-19 pandemic.

On this occasion, Ksenija Flegar, Director General of the Directorate for Tourism, pinpointed: "In the last few years, Slovenia has successfully positioned itself on the global tourist map as a sustainable, green tourist destination ,which was underlined with numerous awards and recognitions. The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism has become a model example within the international area. We will continue and upgrade the Green Story of Slovenia also with the new 2022-2028 Slovenian Tourism Strategy and develop a green boutique offer of higher quality, but with a lower carbon footprint, less disposable plastics and more green investments and short supply chains. All to achieve the set vision of 'Green boutiqueness. Smaller footprint. Greater value for all'. I am glad that many tourist providers have already become members of the Slovenia Green Family."

The event was opened by Ilona Stermecki, Acting Director of the STB, and Miran Stanko, Mayor of Krško.

On this occasion, Ilona Stermecki, Acting Director of the STB, highlighted: “I am glad that 51 new holders of the Slovenia Green label have joined the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism in the last year. We are especially pleased that next to Bohinj, which received the first platinum Slovenia Green label has now been joined by three other destinations – Ljubljana, Laško and Čatež and Brežice. Congratulations also to Krško, the host of this year's Green Day of Slovenian Tourism, for the golden Slovenia Green label, as well as to Šmarje pri Jelšah and Murska Sobota for the bronze label. Today, the Green Scheme counts as many as 198 holders of the Slovenia Green label, and destinations with the label record more than 90% of all tourist arrivals in Slovenia. This year, as part of the main event dedicated to sustainable tourism in Slovenia, for the first time we are awarding special recognitions for the gastronomic module and the best coordinator in the Green Scheme. Congratulations to Bohinj for successfully fulfilling the gastronomic module and to green coordinator Sabina Seme from Laško." She went on emphasizing Slovenia's role as a leader in sustainable tourism at the global level and explained about further steps in implementing the sustainable commitment in Slovenian tourism: "This year's Green Day highlights the challenge of reducing waste, especially disposable plastics in tourism. Slovenia wants to be part of the solution to this global problem. More than 100 stakeholders in Slovenian tourism have already signed the Commitment to eliminate the four most problematic items from their operations by the end of 2022 and to follow the principles of the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative and by doing this contribute to even more sustainable behavior in Slovenian tourism."

At the opening ceremony, Miran Stanko, Mayor of the Municipality of Krško, emphasized the sustainable orientation of the destination: “I am proud that Krško is hosting The Green Day of Slovenian tourism. Krško is certainly a destination that offers close contact with nature, a landscape of joyful waters, playful adventures and adrenaline challenges, authentic tastes, excellent wines and cultural attractions that reveal rich history. With the Slovenia Green Destination label, we got a confirmation that Krško acts sustainably and we will continue to develop this type of tourist offer in the future. We have had numerous investments in infrastructure as well upgraded traditional and designed new events and activities for domestic and foreign tourists. I am convinced that Krško will be one of the most recognizable destinations in Slovenia."

Kristina Ogorevc Račič, Director of the Krško Centre for Enterpreneuership and Tourism (CPT), was thrilled with the fact that the event takes places in Krško: “We are extremely happy to host this year's Green Day of Slovenian Tourism in Krško. Our destination has been striving for sustainable green tourism for many years and it is nice that our efforts have been recognized and that we received rthe golden Slovenia Green label. In recent years, we have developed numerous hiking and biking trails, established a sparkling wine shop at Rajhenburg Castle and connected gastronomy under the Tastes of Posavje brand, and preserved cultural and natural sights through various experiences. Becoming a member of the Green family motivates us for the future and we will work even harder to achieve sustainable tourism development. We want every visitor to leave us with pleasant memories and beautiful feelings. We congratulate all the Slovenia Green label holders."

Three new platinum labels and three new Slovenia Green destinationS

At the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism, Slovenia Green labels are traditionally awarded to destinations, tourist attractions, travel agencies, restaurants and catering providers, parks, natural baths and accommodation providers that have acquired or renewed the label. For the second year in a row, platinum labels were awarded: after Bohinj received the first platinum badge last year, Ljubljana, Laško, Čatež and Brežice joined the platinum member's club this year. All four destinations have already been included in the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST), and with a regular reassessment after three years improved their performance and obtained the highest possible score.

Čatež & Brežice managed to acquire the platinum label with a strategic approach to tourism development, Laško is showing great progress in monitoring the state of the natural environment and education of the tourism sector, and Ljubljana is showing exceptional commitment to implementing measures to protect and manage natural and cultural resources. Three new destinations have joined the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST): Krško, which received the gold badge, and Šmarje pri Jelšah and Murska Sobota, which all received the Slovenia Green bronze badge. Every year, Green Day highlights the important steps that Slovenian tourism has taken in positioning Slovenia as a sustainably oriented tourist destination, with the GSST playing a key role in the development and promotion of sustainable tourism in Slovenia.

Every year, Green Day highlights the important steps that Slovenian tourism has taken in positioning Slovenia as a sustainably oriented tourist destination, with the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST) playing a key role. This year, 56 holders received the Slovenia Green label, of which 53 were providers and 3 destinations. The Green Scheme now has as many as 198 members: 140 providers and 58 destinations.

Special awards for gastronomy and for the green coordinator

Two special awards were presented at the Green Day of Slovenian Tourism: one to Bohinj for fulfilling sustainable measures with regards to gastronomy and the other for the best green coordinator, which was given to Sabina Seme from Laško. Both awards were presented for the first time this year.

In addition to restaurants and tourist farms that have received the Slovenia Green Cuisine label, destinations have as well started fullfilling the requirements within the gastronomic module as part of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. The module is developmentally designed – with instructions on how to approach the development of sustainable gastronomy strategically and with an ear for the environment at the destination level. Bohinj was the most successful in fulfilling the gastronomic module in the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, which is why they were presented with a special award. They also achieved an excellent result thanks to an integrated approach to the development of gastronomy, as they have been successfully managing the From Bohinj brand for several years. Also, gastronomy is included in the strategic documents of the destination. There are also several guided culinary experiences available at the destination.

Upon this ocassion, Klemen Langus, the Director of Bohinj Tourism, highlighted: “The gastronomy in Bohinj and home-grown ingredients form an inevitable part of the authentic experience of Bohinj. Today we celebrate the highest national award with regards to gastronomy that destinations can receive and we must highlight that this is the result of a decade of strategic and structured approach to gastronomy, promotion of local specialties, connecting providers, strengthening local chains among farmers and hotels, as well as initiatives and activities for the preservation and development of agriculture in the municipality. From Bohinj brand addresses all seekers of authentic and unique flavours. We are proud of the award, which confirms and directs us to a sustainable future."

Another special award was given to the best green coordinator, Sabina Seme from Laško, who expressed her gratitude for acknowledging her efforts: “As a green coordinator who has been doing this since the very beginnings of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, I am thrilled to hear that Slovenian Tourist Board decided to highlight our good work and award us. In Laško, we have made enormous progress in the field of sustainability in recent years and we are pleased that this is also confirmed by the Slovenia Green platinum label. The label is the result of the good work of the green team and systematically designed destination projects. It definitely motivates us for the future."

Let's reduce waste in tourism, especially disposable plastic!

In line with the most pressing problems of the transition to more sustainable tourism, this year's Green Day of Slovenian Tourism highlights the challenges of reducing waste, especially disposable plastics.

The Green Day was attended by experts from the circular economy and the world of tourism, who shared their experiences and views. Dr. Uroš Novak from the Institute of Chemistry presented the challenges of the transition to a waste-free society. The presentation was followed by a round table entitled "Elimination of disposable plastics in practice", where the issue was highlighted by chef Luka Košir, Ambassador of "Less plastic, more sustainability" Initiative, Ksenja Kragl from CPT Krško and chef Dejan Mastnak from Tri Lučke. Everyone agreed that disposable plastic is one of the biggest challenges in Slovenian and global tourism. Read more about the initiative.

Examples of sustainable sporting events: Women's EHF EURO 2022 and Planica 2023 Since 2015

Slovenia has been taking care of the sustainable management and the development of destinations and the tourist offer through the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. Within destinations, events play an integral part of the offer, which is why sustainable approach is crucial. The organizers of two sporting events, which will take place in Slovenia within the next two years, have successfully integrated sustainability aspects, which are also highlighted by the Slovenian Tourist Board.

Since the main 2022-2023 promotional theme is sports tourism and active outdoor holidays, including sports events and preparations, the Slovenian Tourist Board also actively participates in these events. This is how it pays even more attention to the development of this important and at the same time promising tourist product of Slovenian tourism, helps connect key stakeholders in sports and tourism and contributes to creating a coordinated and sustainable set of measures, which will result in events that will bring long-term economic, social and promotional effects. Read more about the sustainability efforts of both projects and the exact measures to be undertaken.



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