From September 27 to 28 this year, the global sustainable tourism global conference took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Since 1980, the 27th of September has also been marked as the World Tourism Day by United Nations World Tourism Organization and now is also the start of the Global Green Destinations Day event which opened on 27 September 2016 and brought together 350 experts and players in the field of sustainable tourism from countries all over the world.

Opinion leaders, representatives of destinations, associations, hoteliers and tourist operators gathered during the 2 days to tackle important industry subjects. Among the main topics were sustainable development in tourism, the development of smart cities and local communities, green transport, social change, sustainable management and education on green tourism. Speakers from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Sustainable Travel International, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), TUI Group, Travelife, NECSTour and many others inspired the participating delegates throughout the event.

Ljubljana has been chosen as the host of this year’s Global Green Destinations Day as it was awarded the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016 by the European Commission’s committee since the sustainable development of the city was the most significant one in the shortest time possible. To find out more, see what are the Green Achievements of Ljubljana.

Based on an assessment by the Netherlands-based organisation Green Destinations, Slovenia became the world’s first certified green destination, at a ceremony at Ljubljana Castle on Tuesday, 27 September, as reported by the Slovenian Times.

Green Destinations founder Albert Salman explained that their criteria for such title has over 100 points and Slovenia scored 96% thus winning the title of the greenest destination.

Mr. Salman described Slovenia as a “wonderful place” and called on Slovenians to be “proud of your country and make sure together that your local place in Slovenia is also going to be proud five years from now of what it has achieved in keeping its character and its green, clean, authentic offer for travellers”.

On the opening day, the participants ended up agreeing that if green tourism may have been considered as above-standard in the past, today it was something expected by tourists.

As part of their many green initiatives, the Slovenian Tourism Board has also created the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism which promotes the preservation of the environment, local authenticity and higher quality of life.

Over one-third of Slovenia is included in the Natura 2000 network – a European network of specially protected areas that were chosen by European Union members in order to preserve important biological diversity in Europe. There are over 20,000 animal and plant species on slightly more than 20,000 sq. km of territory. Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe and according to the amount of river water per inhabitant, among the countries with the most natural water resources in Europe.

Are you an event planner? There are lots of good stories about Slovenia on – and they are all related to what you do, namely planning great and exceptional events!

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