Ljubljana has been invited and nominated because of its active work in the field of sustainable development that was also noticed at the international level – primarily, this is certainly represented with its European Green Capital 2016 title and in addition, Ljubljana is one of the pilot Slovenian destinations introducing the ETIS indicators (the European Tourism Indicators System for sustainable destinations, developed by the European Commission), and the first Slovenian destination which was assessed by the GSTR – a tool that besides the European indicators includes also global indicators for sustainable destinations, thus allowing comparison between destinations in this area on a global level.
Assessment for the selection of the top sustainable destinations is a joint initiative of four international organisations in the field of promotion and enhancement of sustainable tourism – that is, Green Destinations, TravelMole.com, Vision on Sustainable Tourism and Totem Tourism, while the Global Sustainable Tourism Council was included in the process in the role of a special partner and advisor.
The list does not offer a simple evaluation on the scale from 1 to 100 since the destinations are classified in different ways, also according to which region in the world they belong – thus they are divided into four regions (Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia-Pacific). 50 destinations from Europe have been included in the list. For example, only the Austrian Werfenweg and the Italian Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli have been included from the neighbouring countries, while none from Hungary or Croatia. At the global, general level the Portuguese Azores, an archipelago of volcanic origin lying in the middle of Atlantic Ocean, have been ranked as the most sustainable, attaining a grade of 8.9 of 10.
The experts carried out the assessment according to the criteria delineated in six thematic areas: (1) nature, (2) environment, (3) culture and tradition, (4) social welfare, (5) green economy, and (6) green tourism policy certification. Maximum weight was put on the latter which relates to certification using the global indicators for sustainable destinations (GSTC, developed by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, as well as the tools based on these indicators, such as GSTR – Global Sustainable Tourism Review).
Ljubljana received a high rating of 8 (nines were extremely rare) In all the initial five categories, while in the latter category (green tourism policy certification) it has not been rated yet as the assessment process using GSTR tool has not yet formally been fully completed – this assessment will shortly be added.
More information is available on the Green Destinations website.