In Ljubljana, we believe the only way to go is the sustainable way. Moreover, the development of sustainable tourism is Ljubljana Tourism’s overarching focus. One of the extremely important areas is gastronomy, which we have been striving to develop with quality and sustainability since the very beginning of our existence.
We have been recognizing and encouraging the best for the last 20 years, ever since we first began awarding the Ljubljana Quality Mark. In 2019 we merged that brand with the internationally recognized Gault & Millau guide, which also covers quality outside the gastronomic field, and together we have reinforced our commitment to recognizing outstanding restaurants, hotels and shops.
Keeping tradition alive is essential. Since we fancy spicing it up a bit and also be in step with the times, we've mixed the tradition with modern practices. The Taste Ljubljana project gives new life to once-popular Ljubljana dishes. Chefs in participating restaurants prepare them in a modern manner, using fresh ingredients of local origin. This project has not remained unseen. In September 2016 Global Green Destinations ranked Ljubljana among the Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations for the second time. The Taste Ljubljana project by Ljubljana Tourism was ranked among the Top 10 Green Solutions.
Taste Ljubljana was thus logically complemented by the Green Supply Chains project, which is a sustainable initiative linking producers from the surrounding region with restaurants and institutional customers in Ljubljana, with the produce that makes up these supply chains ending up on plates. This green project also keeps on impressing the international jury and resonates as an example of good practice far and wide. In September 2018 Ljubljana was declared the winner of the sustainable tourism award within the first European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. Among the presented projects in the candidacy were also Green Supply Chains and Taste Ljubljana. A year later, in November 2019, the Green Supply Chains project was acknowledged at International Tourism and Travel Awards at World Travel Market in London, which resulted in Ljubljana receiving the high commendation award in the Best Food Destination category.
However, the development at Ljubljana Tourism hasn't stopped there. Since 2018, they have expanded the Green Supply Chains project, and have been organizing the Locally Grown Food Exchange, which brings together local food producers with restaurateurs and hoteliers, representatives of primary schools and nurseries, and representatives of other public institutions in the Ljubljana region. As a result, even more, accolades came with it. First on the local grounds, by winning the Moving Forward award, which honors the best improvement in public administration. It was presented during the Slovenian Public Administration Days organized by the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Public Administration. Later, in March 2019, the implementation of the Locally Grown Food Exchange was acknowledged on ITB Berlin's ceremony of prestigious awards to the best destinations from the Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations list. Ljubljana won in the Best of Cities category, receiving the award for its best practice.
Creativity in Ljubljana also reflects in guided experiences. One of the latest is Yummy Market Walk, the culinary experience, which immerses visitors into Ljubljana’s vibrant central market, touring the stalls of local vendors offering fresh produce and unique goods. At the end of the tour, visitors are treated to the Ljubljana Breakfast, prepared from ingredients that they learned about at the market. As part of the Days of Slovenian Tourism, the Yummy Market Walk received the Snovalec 2019 plaque, with which the Slovenian Tourist Board supports the realization of creative, inventive, and innovative ideas in tourism.
The Slovenian capital may be small and yet huge in terms of inspiring stories, great practices and many recognitions. This was not bragging. Just stating some facts. Ljubljana is still an elegant lady, and you must admit, these kinds of accolades suit her.