Slovenia sustainable tourism leaders, stories, examples

ON TOUR in Slovenia: Slovenian sustainable tourism leaders, stories and examples.

Much loved and admired for its natural beauty, Slovenia as destination has become a mecca for outdoor lovers and adventure travelers. Its capital, Ljubljana, is widely regarded a role model for urban sustainable development, not least thanks to its car-free inner city which brought urban life back to the center. While some destinations in Slovenia, like Podčetrtek, are well established, others – such as Bela krajina and Kočevsko in the south – are just starting to develop their unique positioning.

But what exactly are the challenges of building and managing a sustainable tourism business – for example an eco-farm – or a destination? Who are the change-makers – professionals going the extra mile? And what role do tour guides play, as agents for change?

To get answers to those and other questions, I visited Slovenia in April 2019 as part of SLP on TOUR and caught up with Slovenian tourism leaders and sustainability change-makers.

With thanks to the Slovenian Tourist Board for hosting me on this tour through the country. Special thanks to experience creator, Tina Hudnik of G-Guides, for being such good company and a great driver on those curvaceous mountain roads!

Maja Pak, Slovenian Tourist BoardMaja Pak

Maja Pak, Managing Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board in this first interview of our special series introduces us to the country’s history as tourist destination. She also outlines the challenges and trends affecting Slovenia as destination, and its sustainability.

Read the interview here

Jana Apih, sustainable tourism expert panel memberJana Apih

Jana Apih, Managing Director of GoodPlace in Ljubljana, in this interview tells us about Slovenia’s journey towards tourism sustainability and how the country’s sustainable tourism strategy, including the Slovenia Green destination certification initiative, has benefited the destination’s competitiveness and reputation.

Read the interview here

Janko Humar, Soca Valley TourismJanko Humar

Janko Humar is the CEO of Soca Valley Tourist Board, which oversees the development and management of this popular adventure travel destination in the very west of Slovenia (bordering Italy). In this interview Janko explains which hurdles he has to overcome in the day-to-day management of the popular adventure travel region (and winner of European Destinations of Excellence). 

Read the interview here

Maja Campelj, G Guides SloveniaMaja Čampelj

Tour guides are sometimes overlooked when discussing sustainability actors in tourism. This is unfortunate, since well-trained guides can be powerful facilitators and change agents, as they are in direct contact with travelers, tells us Maja Čampelj in this interview. With her organization, G-Guides, she is on a mission to train a new generation of tourist guides and experience creators for whom responsible tourism is part of their professional DNA.

Read the interview here

Bostjan Misja, Director of Tourism PodcetrtekBoštjan Misja

As Director of Tourism Podčetrtek, Boštjan Misja is the person to go to for updates on latest developments happening in this popular destination at the Croatian border. In the interview Boštjan tells us how Podčetrtek has become the award-winning green destination it is today.

Read the interview here

Urska Tourist Farm in SloveniaUrška Tourist Farm

How do you combine your love for nature and the countryside with a passion for hospitality? At Urska Tourist Farm, both are palpable. In this interview, learn about the ups and downs of running a rural ecotourism business.

Read the interview here

Tanja MihalicTanja Mihalič

Professor Tanja Mihalič is Head of the Institute for Tourism at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. In this last interview of our special series she offers an academic’s point of view on the development of Slovenia – and the future ahead.

Read the interview here