Partners from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia gathered at the closing conference, 6th Steering Committee meeting and 8th thematic meeting.
The meeting took place in Litija, Slovenia on 27–29 May 2019 and was hosted by the Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia.
Partners started their visit to Slovenija with two study visits. First was the guided tour of Sitarjevec mine, one of the oldest mines in Slovenia. Partners learned about the transformation of the mine to a touristic attraction, as well as about the history of mining in Litija. The study visit continued with the guided tour of Bogenšperk castle. The Renaissance castle is one of the most important cultural monuments in Slovenia. It was the home of Janez Vajkard Valvasor, a famous natural historian and polymath and member of the Royal Society of England and author of The glory of the Duchy of Carniola, one of the most important scientific works on Carniola, today's part of central Slovenia.
At the closing conference, which took place on 28 May 2019, we presented the 30-month project INSiGHTS - Integrated Slow, Green and Healthy Tourism Strategies - which started on January 1, 2017, and ends in June 2019. The purpose of the project is to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and cultural heritage with the goal of developing sustainable and green tourism. 13 partners from the countries of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Slovenia have developed tourist strategies that will not only make the regions more attractive to tourists but will also protect its natural and cultural resources.
Within the framework of the final conference, three round tables were held on the results of the project. Experts from the field of tourism have presented examples of good practices and key development guidelines within individual thematic sections.
The first round table on the topic of integrated sustainable tourism management and governance started with the keynote speech given by Jana Apih from Tovarna trajnostnega razvoja – Goodplace. Maša Klemenčič from Slovenian Tourist Board presented the keynote speech on the topic of Smart touristic product development for the second round table. The third round table on the topic of promotion of green and healthy lifestyle through sustainable tourism services with Alenka Soršak from Tourism Ljubljana as a keynote speaker. Following the round tables, two good practices from the Heart of Slovenia were presented. Katarina Hribar from Terme Snovik presented the Barefoot path and Blaž Zarnik from Municipality Litija presented Sitarjevec mine.
At the roundtable discussions and good practice presentations, it was concluded that the Danube regions have outstanding natural and cultural resources that need to be protected. They also have great potential to become attractive destinations for the fast-growing trend of slow, green and healthy tourism. 13 partners from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Slovenia have been linked to find the right solutions to make the regions more attractive to tourists. Within the framework of the INSiGHTS project, the creation of eight tourism strategies for green and healthy tourism to the destinations helped to make the region not only more attractive to tourists but also to protect its natural and cultural resources. The tourism strategies for green and healthy tourism are adaptable throughout the Danube Region.
INSiGHTS project partners
Mr Zoltan Bara, Pons Danubii presenting the INSiGHTS project
INSiGHTS project partners at the entrance to the Sitarjevec mine
Round table on Promotion of green and healthy lifestyle through sustainable tourism
INSiGHTS project partners at the guided tour of the Bogenšperk castle