GSST is a national system for enhancing and measuring sustainability in tourism: a long-term, process-oriented and internationally comparable program.
Unspoilt nature is the most important asset in Slovenia - more than 1/3 of Slovenia is part of protected areas, so clear commitment to sustainable development of tourism is fundamental development paradigm. STB has established national program to promote introduction of sustainable business models in tourism based on more than 100 global criteria. It works through holistic system of strong developmental endeavor of all essential stakeholders in tourism: destinations, tourism providers, tourist agenc. and attractions. GSST communicates its efforts and achievements of sustainable performance with its sustainability verification brand SLOVENIA GREEN. Ultimate goal is to make Slovenia 100% green.
1) Destination is a municipality; only in special cases destination can cover 2 or 3 municipalities;
2) On behalf of destinations, local tourism boards, municipalities or other bodies in charge of tourism development apply;
3) Destination must undergo 11-step process to receive the Slovenia Green Destination Bronze, Silver or Gold award;
4) Destinations have one year to complete the process which is facilitated.
Business (hotels and TOs/TAs):
1) Businesses have to obtain independently one of the six certificates the scheme has endorsed (Biohotels, Green Globe, Green Key, EU Ecolabel, Travelife or TourCert) and submit proof of possessing valid certificate;
2) As a result they are given the Slovenia Green Accommodation or Slovenia Green TA/TO award
Tourist board would need to implement the scheme within its area:
- 1 person to manage the scheme
- deal with accredited partner covering some extra tasks (app. 0,5 person)
- deal with international partner to provide platform (exact cost to be defined with them, Green Destinations).
Evidence of success
In less than 3 years more than 70 members (destinations, accommodations, agencies, parks) entered GSST.
Slovenia has recorded growth in 2017, nearly 18% growth in foreign arrivals and 15% in foreign overnights.
- 2016 Slovenia was declared First Green Destination in the World
- In 2017 STB received outstanding National Geographic World Legacy Destination Leadership Award for sustainable tourism management
- In 2018 Slovenia was honoured by becoming The Best Destination in EU
Potential for learning or transfer
One of most challenging tasks when developing sust. tourism is the measurement system. Since it is globally comparable, this is the key advantage of GSST. It is based on more than 100 global criteria developed by UNWTO, European Commission and by the Green Destinations standard.
Because many stakeholders on different levels are taking part in sustainable development it is of vital importance that they are approached by credible tool that is upgraded with years of practice and field feedbacks. STB integrated 3 years of practice and field feedbacks in upgrading the system in all relevant guidelines and guides that make use of GSST an easy-to-use tool with value added user experience.
GSST already became a flagship leader – it began to be recognized as a best practice internationally among representatives of NTB from many countries. First collaborating encounters with European Travel Commission also already took place and mutual reactions on possible collaboration are very positive.