A sustainable and flourishing year – 2023 –

The year behind us can be judged as a good and successful one. Tourism Bohinj has, however, faced several challenges that have affected our destination in one way or another, but that is not what this report is about.

The increased tourist arrivals are the most important factor in the destination’s recognition as a sustainable and conscious destination. The structure of visitors has shifted, with many expecting even more efforts towards sustainability and environmental preservation. In numbers, the results are most evident in the increase of guests transported by public transport and using the “park and ride” buses.

Bohinj is already no small dot on the world map of sustainable activities. We have become a respected driving force in the management of a natural park and tourist destination, successfully sailing the tide of modern pressures.

It is precisely the constant pressure of increased visits that requires us all to have an even greater and better understanding of what we are and what we want. The question, though simple, will sound political if we write it down, and does not belong in this report. It’s a question for each of us to ask ourselves.

Bohinj has received an outstanding award in the field of sustainable management of tourist destinations: the UNWTO BEST TOURISM VILLAGES award

Of all the awards we have received, this one, which is extremely important on a global scale, has been rather unjustifiably overlooked. Bohinj’s holistic approach to sustainability and preservation of cultural heritage has more than justified its place among the “Best Tourism Villages” selected by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). While the global interpretation of “villages” may differ, Bohinj aligns with the UNWTO criteria and falls into this category.

This award is not just a symbolic honor, but an international recognition of our community, where we have successfully combined tourism with economic development, while carefully preserving our unique identity, culture and environment. Our uniqueness and the special character of our environment are more internationally recognized than we modestly admit to ourselves.

In Bohinj, initiatives such as the International Wildflower Festival, sustainable mobility solutions and support for local products through the Bohinjsko/From Bohinj brand have set an example of how tourism can act as a catalyst for positive change without compromising our natural and cultural heritage.

Through our commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental preservation, we have created an exemplary model that boosts our local economy and ensures a good quality of life for us, the people of Bohinj, while coexisting harmoniously with our natural environment. Our ability to reconcile economic development with the preservation of nature and culture is a crucial achievement regarding the Sustainable Development Goals also advocated by the UNWTO, which has recognized our efforts, despite our modest size.

In Bohinj, we are building bridges between the past and the future and setting standards for future generations, where we sustainably manage natural and cultural resources with tourism acting as the driving economic force, but by no means the only one. Our inclusion on the UNWTO list is well-deserved, and while it serves as a source of inspiration for other tourist destinations around the world, it is to us that it should inspire the most to strive for continuous improvement.

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