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On World Tourism Day, 27th September, a two-day conference, Global Green Destinations Day (27-28.9.2016) is taking place in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. The flagship green destination event is planned on a global scale and will bring together leading representatives of destinations, tourism service providers and experts who strive for sustainable development in tourism.

1 zelena ljubljana

© Nea Culpa

The main partner and co-organizer of the event is Ljubljana Tourism in cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board. The capital of Slovenia has won the candidacy for the conference also because of its prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016.

A decade-long vision and a way to one of the top green cities in the world

In the last decade, i.e. since 2007, when Ljubljana set off on the road of sustainable development with the vision Ljubljana 2025, the city has made big steps forward in the implementation of the green development policy. The European Commission, which each year awards one city with the highest environmental standards and ambitious goals in sustainable development, on 24th June 2014 in Copenhagen awarded Ljubljana a prestigious title European Green Capital 2016. As it highlighted in its explanation, the capital of Slovenia has introduced the most changes in the quality of life in the right direction. It has become a pan-European model on how to organize life in the city in an environmentally friendly way for living and visiting.

The capital of Slovenia on the first list of global top 100 green destinations

At the end of 2014, the web portal Green Destinations ranked Ljubljana on the first elite list of Global TOP 100 Green destinations. The awards for this year’s green excellence will be presented in Ljubljana, on 27th September. The European Green Capital 2016 is hoping to be ranked again on this prestigious list and receive recognition by the Green Destinations Organization, which is also the main organizer of the Global Green Destinations Day.

Global Green Destinations Day

»At Ljubljana Tourism, we are very proud of recognitions and awards in the field of sustainable development. The title European Green Capital 2016 means an incredible honour for the whole city family and a promise to all inhabitants and visitors of Ljubljana. As one of the most sustainability-oriented global destinations, we received the prestigious laurels Tourism for Tomorrow 2015 by the international organization World Travel & Tourism Council. However, the most important fact is that Ljubljana really lives with its green soul. With the guests of the Global Green Destination Day we are going to share with pleasure the green knowledge and achievements of Ljubljana, presenting how the arrangements in the city centre, which is closed for motorized traffic, significantly influenced the tourist development and atmosphere in the city. We will also explain how we introduced the Zero Waste strategy for waste management and green transportations« announces Petra Stušek, director of Ljubljana Tourism.

Ljubljana as a model to other destinations and a green outdoor classroom

A rich programme of a two-day long green conference includes round tables and workshops about the sustainable development of destinations, sustainable business operations in the hotel industry and green marketing. One of the most interesting experiences will be the Ljubljana Green Outdoor Classroom. Licenced guides of Ljubljana Tourism will guide the participants through the green points of the city, explaining about all the sustainable measures, which brought Ljubljana the title of the European Green Capital 2016.

Ljubljana is the first capital of the European Union which adopted the Zero Waste strategy of waste management and the first destination in Slovenia which last year won the gold certificate Slovenia Green within the national programme Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism for introducing sustainable models in tourism business operation and management. This year Ljubljana has also received the Golden Apple Award, the highest award given by the International Federation of Tourism Journalists and Writers (IFTJR).

In the last decade, the capital of Slovenia, one of the global top five green countries, has visibly transformed into a city to enjoy. The city centre has become a large outdoor living room – for pedestrians, cyclists, gourmets and other pleasure seekers. The local inhabitants and visitors meet in the city coffeehouses and restaurants. Time spent in other cities for transportations, can be spent for chatting or resting in Ljubljana, since all the distances can be easily made on foot or by bicycle. A real refreshment are urban picnics available on every step with the natural drinking water.

Green mobility with public bicycles, electric vehicles Kavalir and electric train Urban

Besides walking, bicycle rental by a popular self-service system BicikeLJ is also very handy to discover the hidden city corners. In order to get to know Ljubljana with the wind in your hair there are also bicycles available by the Slovenian Tourist Centre on Krek’s Square close to the city market. A special experience is riding the electric train Urban and the environmental-friendly electric vehicle Kavalir (Cavalier), which on request, carry out free-of-charge transportations in the city centre. Ljubljana also boasts an increasing number of buses, running on methane and thus contributing to the decrease of carbon footprint.

The pan-European opportunity of the year for green connections and networking

The two-day international event, supported by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and planned by the international organization Green Destinations as well as the GoodPlace group for sustainable tourism, represents a living laboratory of green solutions in tourism and examples of good (green) practices. At special discussions and studying panels, the main topics of the event will take in consideration the key aspects of the sustainable development in tourism, smart development of the cities and local communities, green transportations for today and tomorrow, social changes, sustainable management and education on green tourism. In addition to the announcement of the global top 100 green destinations, the key mission of the event is to provide to participants a possibility to establish new connections as well as the access to strategic partnerships and international networks. In fact, the main guidance of organizers and partners is to promote a brighter, more connected and sustainability-oriented future in tourism.

Registrations and more information about the event are available at www.greendestinationsday.com