The GSST is a tool and certification program for sustainable tourism in Slovenia, it offers evaluation and improvement tools and promotion under a common brand.
The scheme’s key strategic objective is to introduce sustainable models to Slovenian tourism, tourism service providers and destinations. All objectives of strategic guidelines are in line with sustainable development. Slovenian Tourist Board manages and develops the scheme, offers education, and international promotion for Slovenia Green destinations and service providers. Association for Sustainable Tourism GoodPlace has a license to make assessments using the Green Destinations Standard and is a Green Destinations partner. The GSST is based on global criteria, is globally recognized, and enables international comparison.
Even though the GSST is about broader, sustainable approach, almost half of the indicators are (in)directly connected to circular economy. Based on those indicators, destinations develop action plans with measures for optimizing energy efficiency of buildings, making them self-reliant for water supply and waste management, using green energy sources and setting strict targets for waste disposal and recycling. This means moving away from a linear system to a more cyclical and regenerative one.
GSST enables evaluation and comparison of destinations (one or more local governments) on EU and global level, how sustainable and within that, how circular they are, where are their opportunities to improve and re-evaluation of their achievements, further action plans.
The cost of membership in GSST, the sustainability assessment, and obtaining the Slovenia Green label for destinations is €1,220. The cost of membership, sustainability assessment, and obtaining the label for service providers is €150. The fees don’t include VAT.
Evidence of success
Slovenia offers now a total of 37 destinations, 22 accommodations, 3 natural parks and 2 agencies, which comply with the green strategy and obtained the Slovenia Green label. In June 2016, the Slovenia Green Consortium was established with 18 partners and the Slovenian Tourist Board. The members face similar challenges in the development and marketing of sustainable tourism. The association and platform are therefore of great importance for strengthening cooperation and sharing good practices.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Green Scheme for Slovenian Tourism is a comprehensive national system for promoting sustainable tourism. The system has a national character, but is entirely based on global and European indicators, and is therefore already transferable to other countries in its design.
The GSST has an integrated approach and development orientation, a national character, international comparison, global criteria and a tool for positioning and promotion. It establishes a platform for networking of ideas, annual awards for innovative tourism products, seminars, workshops and consultations for the tourism industry.
The competitively positioned range of sustainable tourism products and development of high-quality, innovative tourism products, represents the key to global competitiveness, and ensures conservation of natural resources, cultural particularities and development of human resources. By doing so, the use of the certification scheme has a positive effect on the tourism development.
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