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At the ceremony taking place at the ITB Berlin 2017 tourism fair, Slovenia won the National Geographic World Legacy Award in the Destination Leadership category. This award is given to places that demonstrate environmental best practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local communities, and educating travelers. The award was handed out to the Slovenian Tourist Board.

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© Matic Štojs, Mostphotos

»As the United Nations heralds 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, one place rises above the rest: Slovenia.« (National Geographic)

In the last year Ljubljana was given the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016 and Slovenia was declared the world’s most sustainable country. The Green Destinations global platform awarded Slovenia as many as 96 out of its 100 sustainability indicators.

The official World Legacy Award announcement: »With nearly 60 percent of its land protected, the country of Slovenia has successfully laid the foundation to become one of the world’s most sustainable destinations. Slovenian Tourist Board unifies all stewardship initiatives through its Green Scheme, which sets guidelines and provides tools for monitoring sustainability progress, instilling a culture of continual improvement in the country’s tourism efforts based upon benefiting local communities, protecting cultural heritage and saving nature, including revitalizing rural areas and creating authentic travel experiences for visitors.«

More than 100 entries, representing 45 countries across six continents, were submitted for these prestigious travel awards, handed out in the categories of Destination Leadership, Earth Changers, Sense of Place, Conserving the Natural World and Engaging Communities.

For more information about the National Geographic World Legacy Awards, read the ITB Berlin official press release.