The year 2017 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Regional Development. A broad concept. The focus is not only on ecotourism. Tourism is also the engine for cultural preservation and local economic development. The beautiful Slovenia is the first winner!
Sustainable tourism for regional development
For the UN, sustainable tourism does not only mean’ green’ or’ eco’. For the UN, sustainable tourism also includes issues such as cultural preservation and local economic development. The UN has therefore declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Everyone is aware that travelling and the ever cheaper air fares are not good for the environment. However, tourism is a great boost to regional development in disadvantaged areas. Provided it happens in the right way, and the local population benefits from it. Not only major tour operators. The overall picture of ‘sustainable tourism‘ is therefore quite complicated. There are now many labels, but also (fake) certificates.
Slovenia leading the way in sustainable tourism
Slovenia in particular is doing well. In 2016, the country was the first country in the world to be declared a’ sustainable destination‘. Not so strange with all the green fields, snowy peaks and beautiful lakes. At 96%, Slovenia scores positively on no less than 96 of the 100 criteria for sustainable tourism. Research agency Green Destinations carried out the survey. Location visits, many interviews with local experts, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO), government and ministries led to the positive opinion. Economic and administrative factors were also taken into account.
Sustainable Tourism – research by Green Destinations.
The research company Green Destinations from Leiden, operating worldwide, carried out the research into sustainability. Green Destinations supports and certifies countries, regions and accommodations. The agency has developed a comprehensive list of criteria for certification. Through this Green Destination Standard, among other things, consideration is given to dealing with the environment and climate, taxation of nature and influence on biodiversity, culture and authenticity,’ green’ economic development, administrative and political factors and more.
Ljubljana – green capital
The European Union underlines Slovenia’s high score. For example, the capital Ljubljana was declared Europe’s greenest capital. Not so crazy. Slovenia is a country of green forests and more than 40 national parks and reserves. More than 20,000 plants and animals, winding roads and beautiful hiking trails make Slovenia a pleasant country. Less than 2 million inhabitants, beautiful lakes and the tastiest wine make Slovenia worth an exploration trip.