During September 19th-23rd, 2021, GSTC Members Visit Estonia, Slovenian Tourist Board, and GoodPlace met in Slovenia to experience Slovenia Green destinations on a multi-day study tour. This allowed the Slovenian Tourist Board and GoodPlace to share knowledge and experience in sustainable tourism management in Slovenia.

Day 1 – GSTC Members meet in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Visit Estonia, along with Estonian green coordinators and auditors, were welcomed by Maša Klemenčič and Nataša Hočevar from Slovenian Tourism Board and Jana Apih and Tina H Zakonjšek from GoodPlace. After meeting and exchanging experiences, the group met with Visit Ljubljana and experienced a city tour, Green Stories of Ljubljana.

Visit Estonia was impressed with the long-term systematic development of sustainable travel in Slovenia and how GoodPlace is constantly working with improving the programme along with the Slovenian Tourist Board.

Day 2 – Bled, Bohinj, and the Julian Alps

On the second day, the group drove to Bled and spent the morning in one of the oldest Slovenian tourist destinations, filled with rich natural and cultural heritage. Visit Estonia was most impressed with the biking routes, as well as Hotel Ribno Bled and Bike Village. Hotel Ribno is also a zero waste hotel. In addition, the group visited a beekeeper who introduced the story of the Slovenian Carniola bee. Slovenia is the country that initiated World Bee Day, celebrated annually on the 20th of May.

The afternoon was spent experiencing Bohinj. They discussed mobility solutions and cooperation with small tourism enterprises and other DMOs, surrounded by views of the Julian Alps, the tallest mountains in Slovenia.

Day 3 – Soča Valley, Brda and Triglav National Park

The next day, the group took a train to Most na Soči and spent the morning visiting Soča Valley. Afterwards, they drove to Brda and experienced wine production in cooperation with 400 local families.

Visit Estonia was inspired by Triglav National Park itself, as well as their mobility and visitor monitoring.

Comments from Visit Estonia, GoodPlace and Slovenian Tourist Board

Imbi Lepik-Martinson, Tourism Quality Coordinator, Visit Estonia
“Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism has been the main showcase for Estonia and the GoodPlace team have supported our piloting destinations with practical training on how to develop sustainable tourism. We are very happy that we managed to visit Slovenian destinations and saw these developments ourselves. The study visit gave us motivation and inspiration for further development of our own national green scheme.”

Tina Hedi Zakonjšek, Sustainability Coordinator, GoodPlace
“After two failed attempts due to covid, representatives of Estonian DMOs finally made it to Slovenia. We have met previously online, delivering some workshops on sustainable tourism development on national level, but it was a real pleasure to finally meet onsite. I hope that we were able to showcase Slovenian best practices and am looking forward to the next innovative steps Estonia makes.”

Maša Klemenčič, Project Manager, Slovenian Tourist Board
“We are delighted that the Slovenian approach to the development of sustainable tourism on a national level has been recognised as effective by other countries, and are always happy to share our experiences. We are working on developing the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism even further by implementing new, concrete tools, such as reducing single-use plastics in the Slovenian tourism industry.”

Nataša Hočevar, Head of Development, Slovenian Tourist Board
“Working with commitment through the platform of Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism we managed to achieve getting all our key stakeholders at destination and business level on board in our efforts to develop Slovenian tourism in a sustainable way, hand in hand with local communities and residents, putting forward unique local experiences. But in the globalized world individual efforts are not enough. We – as Europe – must work together to rethink all aspects of managing and marketing tourism – today, for tomorrow. I wish you the best of luck in all of your future sustainable endeavors.”

Visit Estonia

Visit Estonia, also known as Estonian Tourist Board, is the official travel guide to Estonia. Visit Estonia is engaged in the development and introduction of Estonian tourism products to foreign tour operators, as well as the training of Estonian tourism enterprises and promoting Estonia as an attractive holiday destination. The main objective of Visit Estonia’s National Tourism Policy is to make Estonia internationally competitive and to ensure the economic growth is sustainable. Visit Estonia plays a key role in educating DMOs in Estonia about the importance of sustainability and advocates development of sustainable tourism products. Visit Estonia has developed a program for Estonian destinations, aiming to make locals proud and visitors value it. www.visitestonia.com

Slovenian Tourist Board

The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) is the central national agency for the promotion of tourism, one of the most successful and promising industries in the Slovenian economy. Systematic planning, development and promotion activities and a modern approach to the placement of Slovenia on the global tourist map – this is what has particularly helped the STB in recent years to increase the recognisability and reputation of the country as an authentic boutique destination for five-star experiences, which is committed to sustainability. The core of all STB activities includes a sustained commitment, on which the placement of Slovenia as a green, active and healthy destination for five-star experiences is based. www.slovenia.info


GoodPlace, Factory of Sustainable Tourism is a non-profit institute in Slovenia. A key role of GoodPlace is to create an environment that encourages forward oriented thinking, offering a number of solutions and tools to implement sustainable tourism management in Slovenia and internationally. GoodPlace has become a key partner in the region for Green Destinations, a representative of Travelife, and developed a number of joint projects with other international partners. GoodPlace developed the Slovenia Green certification scheme for the Slovenian Tourist Board, is an accredited partner for implementation and a coordinator of Slovenia Green Consortium. www.goodplace.si