Award for the sustainable development of Ljubljana
Within the framework of the European Capital of Smart Tourism programme a group of independent experts and representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions declared Ljubljana as best in the area of sustainable tourism.
In our application we presented the most important measures and plans in the field of sustainable development in Ljubljana, accessibility, digitalisation as well as culture and creativity.
On Tuesday, 24 September 2018, in Brussels, we and the representatives of nine other finalists (38 cities from 19 member states applied, in total) presented in more detail our application to a selected European jury who decided to award the title European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 to Helsinki and Lyon and declared Ljubljana best in the field of sustainable development.
»We are very proud the group of experts recognised the efforts of the city of Ljubljana, that it is developing into a modern capital while remaining a people friendly city. The award places Ljubljana at the top of model practices with the activities carried out so far in the field of sustainable development and outstanding plans for future which simultaneously support further economic and social development while preserving the natural environment and resources,« said Petra Stušek, MA, Director of Ljubljana Tourism after the announcement.
In Brussels, among other things which we presented to the expert jury were the supply chain, the Taste Ljubljana project, the project of connecting primary schools with local food producers, zero waste measures in waste management, expansion of public green surfaces, pedestrian and cycling zones and the public city transport network, the introduction of an electric tourist train, deseasonalisation measures and dispersion of tourist flows, development of cultural quarters and other activities linked to the sustainable city development.
The significance of the title for Ljubljana
The title the best in the field of sustainable tourism in the framework of the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 is a unique opportunity promoting targeted communication and support as well as recognisability as a smart tourism pioneer in the European Union. And so Ljubljana is an inspiration to other tourist destinations across Europe and at the same time it has a new challenge to further upgrade and improve itself as a travel destination, ensure the quality of life for its citizens and visitors, and promote economic growth at the national level, as well.
About the European Capital of Smart Tourism project
The European Capital of Smart Tourism project, a novelty in the European Union, awards and promotes innovative, intelligent and comprehensive solutions in tourism in European cities. A smart tourist city is defined as a city using its territorial, social and human capital for the growth of the tourist sector, city prosperity and better quality of life for citizens, it offers enriched and tailored tourist experiences by valuing local means while respecting and including local communities, and giving access to tourist services and products by using new technologies, mutual connections and services. The introduction of smart tourism is a response to new challenges and needs of a fast growing segment of economy where products, services and digital tools are changing and provides equal opportunities and accessibility to all visitors.
The European Commission is of the opinion that tourism as the third biggest socio-economic activity of the European Union, contributing 10% to its GDP, plays a key role in growth and employment and still has great potential for further development. Innovation, accessibility and sustainable development are crucial here, that is why the European Commission wants to support connectivity and cooperation which would enable the exchange of good practices between European cities and increase the recognisability of Europe as a tourist destination.