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The main green destination event on a global level, i.e. Global Green Destinations Day, taking place from 27 to 28 September 2016 in Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016, Slovenia, is offering an interesting and variable programme, within which the leading experts in the field of sustainable development will meet.

GGDD press 3

© T. Bernik

At lectures, study panels and workshops, they will discuss the key views of the sustainable development in tourism, the smart development of cities and local communities, green transports for today and tomorrow, social changes, the sustainable management of hotels and education on green tourism.

Opening of the event on the World Tourism Day accompanied by the World Tourism Organization UNWTO

Global Green Destinations Day will officially start on the World Tourism Day, i.e. on Tuesday, 27 September, with the welcoming speech of the Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, and with the emphasis on various views of implementation of the tourism sustainable development. The first day will conclude with a gala event at the Ljubljana Castle, one of its highlights being a welcome address to all participants by the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković.

Live lab of green solutions in tourism and examples of best (green) practice

A two-day international event, supported by the main partner and co-organiser Ljubljana Tourism in cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board, and planned by the international organization Green Destinations and the Institute of Sustainable Tourism GoodPlace, is offering more than 30 lectures and workshops on the topic of sustainable development in tourism, the presentation of 100 most successful sustainability-oriented global tourist destinations and the ceremonial awarding of recognitions to the providers of green solutions in tourism for a responsible and social operation.

Sustainable development concerns actions and changes in the fields, including political framework of planning and employment as well as transport and regional development. For successful sustainable tourism policy, its integration through all these fields as well as cooperation and coordination between the actors of various sectors (public, private, civil) are needed. How do they deal with the challenges within international organizations, which are brought by the tourism sustainable development planning, will be discussed at the event by the President of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council GSTC and Director of the Programme for Sustainable Tourism at the World Tourism Organization UNWTO Luigi Cabrini and Policy & Communications Director at the World Travel & Tourism Council WTTC Olivia Ruggles-Brise.

Slovenia Green and the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism

The tourism sustainable development is a strategic priority of the Slovenian Tourist Board, which introduced the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism for this purpose in 2015. This is a certification system, combining all efforts for the tourism sustainable development in Slovenia. It offers to destinations and providers concrete tools for assessment and improvement of the sustainable development and promotes these green actions also through the trademark SLOVENIA GREEN. At the event, the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak, M.Sc, will present how successful the Slovenian Tourist Board is in realization of its strategic goals in the field of tourism sustainable development.

Among other topics, on the first day of this event, President of the Sustainable Travel International Brian Mullis, President of the international organization Green Destinations and the event organizer Albert Salman and Executive Director at ATTA - Europe Chris Doyle will also express their views of the sustainable tourism.

Green solutions and new business models of the most successful sustainability-oriented world tourism destinations

The second part of the conference will be dedicated to unveiling the factors of successful introduction of sustainable approaches and green solutions, providing for more sustainable operation to destinations and as well as providers. The United Nations World Tourism Organization UNWTO defines the sustainable operation in tourism as the operation which fully respects the present and future economic, social and environmental impacts, at the same satisfying the needs of visitors, economy, environment and local inhabitants (UNWTO Definition of Sustainable Tourism, 2013). The implementation of green solutions and sustainability-oriented measures inside the destination is a continuous process, requiring regular monitoring of impacts and introducing preventive as well as curative measures. More about this will be discussed at the event by Carel Drijver, Head of Development at WWF Netherlands and President of Care for Destinations, who will also talk about the relationship between tourism and the protection of coastal areas, and by Marloes van de Goor from the international organization Earth Travel, who will present how to present the green offer of destinations to visitors in an innovate way.

A special guest of the event will also be one of the Slovenian best chefs and currently the star in Netflix’s show Chef’s Table, Ana Roš from Hiša Franko, who will present how important the experience of local cuisine is in tourism experience.

The conference will end up with a discussion how to join forces in 2017, entirely dedicated to the sustainable tourism. This has remained the key development priority for the Slovenian Tourist Board, promoting a harmonized development in environmental as well as social and economic fields.

Global Green Destinations Day

Ljubljana, European Green Capital as an example of best practice in green tourism

This is a special year for Ljubljana as it has been awarded by the title European Green Capital 2016. This prestigious recognition was granted to the City Municipality of Ljubljana by the European Commission, which every year awards one city with high

environmental standards and ambitious goals in sustainable development. In the shortest time possible, the Slovenian capital has succeeded in introducing the highest number of green measures and today it is regarded as a pan-European model presenting how to organize life in a city, friendly to environment, its inhabitants and tourists.

Moreover, on the first day of the program participants will have a chance to discover Ljubljana as a classroom. The licensed guides will take them through the green journey of the city, for which participants will have a chance to choose from the four available themes: 

  1. Sustainable mobility,
  2. Local goods,
  3. Green accommodation or
  4. Green and active Ljubljana. 

Special study panels with international experts

Due to the increasing visibility of the concept of tourism sustainable development and the tourists’ demand of sustainable products, slowly and persistently more and more hotels and destinations are deciding for sustainability-oriented operation. Especially the hotel sector, being one of the main employers in tourism and, at the same time, one of the most intensive consumers of energy and water, is increasingly referring to sustainable measures, providing for improvement of the energy efficiency. In cooperation with a wide range of recognized international organisations in the field of sustainable development, such as Umanotera, The International Ecotourism Society TIES and Travelife, special study panels will take place. There, it will be discussed in detail about the meaning of the local experience for the sustainable tourism success, advantages and challenges of which are brought by the sustainable approaches to the hotel industry, what green mobility means and how to market the green approaches as efficiently as possible with the use of green marketing.

Under the aegis of the international organization ATTA, a special event called AdventureConnect will also take place, connecting the stakeholders in the field of sport and active tourism: providers of the sport equipment, representatives of the most important trademarks, travel organizers and representatives of destinations.

Ceremonial presentation of awards to the TOP green global providers and destinations

Within the tender TOP 100 Sustainable Destinations, a ceremonial presentation of awards to the TOP sustainable destinations will also take place at the Global Green Destination Day program. The Slovenian capital Ljubljana is also among the candidates running for the title. The second initiative presents the Top 10 Green solutions, rewarding the most innovative ideas in the field of infrastructure and technology, enabling the tourism providers to introduce the green practice in tourism. The most advanced destinations in the field of tourism will be awarded by certificates Slovenia Green, Quality Coast and Quality Destinations. Among the candidates for Quality Destinations label is also Slovenia, which is the first country in Europe that has been assessed according to international standards of sustainability.

Global Green Destinations Day serves as a starting point for stimulation of practice, promoting unique features of destinations, preservation of biotic diversity, balance between the protection and accessibility of the natural and cultural heritage, harmonized development of the local communities. Last but not the least, in addition to Bled Strategic Forum (5–6 September), it represents the main event in Slovenia with the topic of sustainable tourism.

For registrations and more information about the event, go to its official website.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at info@greendestinationsday.com.