Slovenia was declared the winner of a World Legacy Award, awarded by National Geographic to companies, organizations or destinations encouraging sustainable tourism.
Half a century ago there were 25 million international tourists. Last year, they were more than one billion tourists exploring the world’s cultural and natural wonders. Keeping that in mind it is important responsible travel to safeguard our planet for future generations. As the United Nations heralds 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, one country rises above the rest: Slovenia.
Slovenia Became Leading Country In Sustainability
The country has made several notable and commendable efforts to promote eco-friendly practices, which deserve praise, including implementing a Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism in 2015.
Blessed with beauteous scenery of nature, no wonder why this country is a famous place for tourists to visit, especially those who love hiking activities. But what this country offer is not only wonderful nature, there’s something else that this country can offer to those tourists: sustainability.
It praised its forests, biotic diversity, well-protected natural and cultural heritage, the Slovenia Green certification scheme and highlighted that it became in 2016 the world’s first country to be declared a green destination.
Slovenia was thus awarded the prestigious title of the world’s first green country and WTM London Global Sport Tourism Impact award. Various rankings placed it among the most attractive and safe countries in the word, and numerous renowned media houses across the globe described it as an interesting tourist destination.
Ljubljana, Bled, Komen, Podcetrtek and Rogaska Slatina have all achieved the highest attainable level
Ljubljana, the first destination to receive the SGD Gold Label, has been featured on the Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100 list since its inception in 2014. The city’s green achievements include the ban of cars in Ljubljana’s historic city center, an increase in the use of electric vehicles, reduction of noise pollution, installation of more public parks, an increase in the use of paper products made out of invasive plant species, and the construction of environmentally friendly buildings.
In size, Slovenia is smaller than many big cities in the world. But size doesn’t matter in the first place to make a country mentioned as the most sustainable one.
About 60% of Slovenia is covered in lush forests. In addition, there are more than 20,000 different animals and plants inhabiting the country’s 40 parks and reserves. Those are incredible numbers owned by a country not bigger than New York.
Sustainable tourism itself has been the main concern for the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO).
Slovenia is becoming known in the international tourism community as a small country which is taking big steps in sustainable tourism.STO director Maja Pak
The city collected 63% of separated waste and Ljubljana Regional Waste Management Centre is the largest in the country. This waste management center collects and processes a third of Slovenia’s waste and prioritizes separation over incineration. Not only that, the city center is prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists over cars and traffic which once covered the whole city. Only economically accessible city buses, which run on natural gas, are allowed to access the city center. Natural gas is not only used to power the economically accessible buses in the city. About 74% of houses in Ljubljana are heated by natural gas, which is centralized by district heating. It reduces the consumption of fossil fuels which we know contribute the most to global carbon emission. The city also progressively builds more and more green spaces. A data showed that there are more than 500 square meters of public green space per resident in the city, and the number keeps on growing amid the growth of population. Imagine if every city in this world apply it, this world would be a greener planet.
Photo credit: visitljubljana.com