At yesterday's Eco Conference, the Tourism Division of the SPIRIT Slovenija public agency presented the Snovalec Award to three projects for their promising ideas in the field of tourism. By the end of the year, the Slovenian tourism sphere will have been enriched by an ecological tourist village in Bled, a product involving relaxation and self-healing in the Cerkno forests, and top Slovenian restaurants serving Trnič cheese, a salty pear-shaped cheese from Velika Planina.
This year, a total of 43 projects or ideas in the field of tourism entered the Snovalec competition. The expert committee selected three winning projects. The authors of the projects have been conferred the title Snovalec 2014 and have each received a grant of EUR 5,000 (gross) to help them realise their award-winning ideas.
Marjan Hribar, the Director-General of the Directorate for Tourism and Internationalisation: "I am pleased to note that at the 5th Eco Conference today we answered in the affirmative the question of whether green tourism works. And this was also thanks to all three winners of the 2014 Snovalec Award, whose projects have sustainable and green elements. I believe that their innovative ideas will also motivate other stakeholders in the tourist industry to follow suit. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, together with the Tourism Division of the SPIRIT Slovenia public agency, will continue to support and encourage them in their efforts. Tourism is a specific service industry in which the high-quality of services is of paramount importance. That is why details and small, well-thought out innovative steps are all the more important in tourism."
Tomaž Klemenc, Acting Director of the SPIRIT Slovenia public agency: "The fact that as many as 43 projects entered this year's Snovalec competition demonstrates that Slovenian tourism is following the path of development of innovative tourist services with high added value that is mapped out in the current strategy for the development and marketing of Slovenian tourism. This year's competitors are characterised by a high level of sustainability, and this holds true in particular for the three winning projects – Garden Village Bled, Forest Selfness, and Trnič on Every Table. It is no longer a question of whether green tourism works or not. The real question is how it can best be incorporated in the development and marketing of Slovenian tourist services so that Slovenia can create competitive, clearly positioned and innovative tourist products for tourists who are willing to pay more for such an experience."
Barbara Kokelj, Garden Village Bled: "We have believed from the very beginning that our project, which has been greatly encouraged by the Snovalec Award, is a perfect opportunity for Slovenian boutique tourism. We hope that others will not copy our project as implemented, but rather the basic idea behind it – to be original. The idea behind the Snovalec Award – to find the best innovative solutions in tourism – also speaks in favour of this."
Borut Pirih, the Director of LTO Laufar Cerkno: "Receiving the Snovalec Award is an extraordinary success for us, and it proves, above all, that the development of green tourism, which is based on the environment, can provide additional development opportunities for the local population, showing a "green" way forward, which will be the only right way in the future. We are proud that in the implementation of our programme we will not affect nature, but rather bring it closer to visitors – together with all its healing effects and including other local particularities. The Snovalec Award is an additional confirmation that we are on the right track, and this has also been proved by the environment in which we work and in which the Forest Selfness programme will be carried out."
Urška Kolar, Director of the Kamnik Tourism and Sports Agency: "The Snovalec Award is confirmation that "Trnič on Every Table" is a project based on a comprehensive, strategic and systematic approach, which has been recognised by both the local and general public and experts. We are pleased to have received this recognition and to see that Trnič cheese has been recognised as an important element in preserving Slovenian traditions. The financial award, of course, is also very welcome, and it will be used to upgrade the communication of the project."
Photo: The Snovalec plaque for LTO Laufar Cerkno