Development and implementation of innovative products and approaches in tourism in Slovenia are supported through The Sejalec and Snovalec awards.
Slovenian Tourist Board is promoting innovativeness and supporting the development of innovative products for more than a decade through The Sejalec and Snovalec calls for applications that are awarding creative ideas and products of destinations and providers.
The Sejalec is an award given for creative and innovative achievements in Slovenian tourism. It rewards innovations that have already been implemented and successfully contribute to recognisability of Slovenia’s tourist offer. Sejalec award winners have exciting new approaches, they are unusual, original and they cover the areas of marketing, business-mindedness and the promotion of Slovenian tourism.
The Snovalec award supports the realisation of creative, inventive and innovative ideas in tourism and is intended for all those who seek confirmation that they are on the right path with regard to implementing ideas in tourism. Award winners receive financial, promotional and professional support. As projects by Snovalec award winners are implemented, they can become innovations that will be ready in the future to become candidates for the Sejalec award.
Beneficiaries are tourism SMEs and micro tourism enterprises, young entrepreneurs and future (potential) entrepreneurs. However, all types of entities can apply for respected awards, i.e. tourism businesses, local tourism organizations, associations, NGOs etc.
Human resources for management – especially preparation of public calls, review of applications and finally selection process.
The Sejalec has only promotional part and free participation at Slovenian Incoming Workshop, while The Snovalec award winners receive also financial contribution.
Evidence of success
Since 2004 Slovenian Tourist Board awarded 56 Sejalec projects and since 2009 24 Snovalec projects.
Awarded example - the first beer fountain in the world from which beer made by Slovenia's micro brewers comes instead of water. It was installed in Žalec to commemorate the rich hops-growing tradition in this part of Slovenia. The Fountain was given the Sejalec 2017 award and in less than two years of its operation more than 100.000 visitors visited the fountain.
Each year jury members have to choose between several products/projects and decide which ones are the best. For the Snovalec – they need to pick and applicants/idea owners present their ideas while for Sejalec the jury visit them on the spot where they present their product on the spot.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Sejalec and Snovalec practices are evidently reaching its objectives in Slovenia - to encourage and facilitate creativity and innovation on the level of tourism businesses, destinations and associations in the field of both creation and promotion of tourism products/services/processes as well to spur creativity, inventiveness and innovation in tourism by funding inventions that will eventually grow into tourism innovations. On the basis of objective terms and conditions (applicants must be based or innovation/idea must be/have been implemented in certain area; innovation/idea was/must be introduced and implemented in certain time frame; applicants must be the owners of innovation/idea; applications are assessed based on prepared criteria and on-site visit/personal interview) the practices are transferable to all regions/areas with the same objectives.