On February the 1st, the main fair event in the field of tourism - the 31st Alpe-Adria, the international fair for green and active tourism, as well as camping and caravanning – ended at the GR-Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. It hosted 350 exhibitors from 13 countries. Traditionally, the GASTexpo Tastes Fair was held at the same time; with over 20,000 people visiting both events in four days. We have been pleased that the recognisability of the main fair event in the field of tourism in our country has been growing year by year.
The events at the exhibition spaces were accompanied by the rich program with travelogue lectures, presentations of new tourist products, round tables and consultations on current issues in tourism.
THE GASTRONOMY TOURISM
One of the main topics was the gastronomic tourism. The Slovenian Tourist Board has prepared a round table in the light of the title Slovenia, the European Gastronomic Region 2021. As part of the project The Slovenia Restaurant Awards, they also discussed the challenges for maximizing the recognition of our rich gastronomic heritage. They presented the novelties of this year's selection for the award, as well as a book - an overview of the best restaurants in Slovenia.
Tourism are people, we like to say. Hospitality, professionalism and excellence in tourism, especially in catering and hospitality, were discussed at the business-educational event – the HOSPEO Master 2020.
THE CAMPING AND CARAVANNING
The second highlight of this year's fair for active and green tourism is the last year's novelty – the segment of camping and caravanning. Nine vendors presented themselves in the Steklena Hall, in the additional new hall and on the outdoor platform. More than 30 new and second-hand holiday vehicles were on display. This year's enrichment was the market - the purchase and sale of second-hand vehicles. At the conference of the Network of Motorhome Stopovers, they discussed the challenges that investors face in the construction of such stopovers.
THE CULTURAL TOURISM
The third emphasis of this year’s fair focused on cultural tourism. At the I Feel Slovenia exhibition space, under the auspices of the Slovenian Tourist Board, there was a presentation of the old Slovenian towns, which are connected into the Association of Historical Cities of Slovenia.
At the opening ceremony, we presented the Jakob Fair Award on the topic of innovative tourist contents and programs in castles and mansions, which was awarded to the Castles of Posavje. The explanation of the commission headed by PhD. Janez Bogataj says: “With their various contents, they are connected in a joint project. It is this connection that is exceptional and innovative for the otherwise Slovenian situation, where we often close ourselves behind castle walls. The castles of Posavje are thus looking for their new identities and developing contacts with the local and regional cultural environment.” At the occasion of the jubilee of the award named after the first tourist, traveller - pilgrim Jakob, we introduced some novelties. The Commission has shortlisted up to five programs. This year they have been: The Expert tour of the Raka Castle, the Podsreda Castle - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Where History Comes to Life – the Bled Castle, The Trebnik Manor Between the Past and the Present, and the Posavje Castles, which received also the title of Ambassador 2020 for the innovative tourist contents and programs in castles and mansions.
Lively events with dancing, music, customs and habits and displays of ancient crafts are presented every year by local associations of the Tourist Association of Slovenia in the Stebrna Hall. Over 50 schools from Slovenia and abroad participated in the high school market with the local tourist offer. Awards were presented to the best ideas for local souvenirs at the More Knowledge for More Tourism Festival.
THE ACTIVE TOURISM
Of course, the main tourist fair is not and cannot be without an offer for active tourism. Every year, the fair is one of the major events for the Alpine Association of Slovenia. This year, a ceremony of awarding the most deserving in the Association was prepared for hikers, alpinists and other visitors; a consultation on how to be safer and better prepared for the mountains; and the alpinist film festival with films from last year's festival in Prague. Walking and Cycling GIZ presented its new portal The Outdoor Slovenia, theme trails and the hiking festival. The Ljubljana Tourism presented hiking trails in Ljubljana and the Central Slovenia, especially fairy-tale adventures ones for young families.
To please the cyclists, long-distance cycling routes were also presented. Many people were attracted to travelogue lectures, including the Photographic Portrait Escape into the Disappearing Cultures by Arne Hodalič and Katja Bidovec.
Last but not least, the red thread of the fair is also sustainable. The Slovenian Tourist Board presented current calls on the topic of sustainability for the Slovenia Green label. At the EXPO Dubai 2020 round table, the key actors of the project have discussed about the role that Slovenia is going to play as a sustainable country at the international exhibition in Dubai.
"The fair is therefore a unique opportunity for Slovenian tourists to discover and recognize how diverse and, at the same time, authentic, the green, healthy and active Slovenia is. The goal is the path, they say. The first goal on this path is the fair, " said MSc. Iztok Bricl, Director of the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre,
Also, this year, the fair has met with a very good media response, the posts are still being made. Over 130 media representatives were accredited at the Media Centre in four days. We have achieved enviable results with the digital media promotion agency. Posts on the fair's Facebook page reached over 300,000 users, and in the Google campaign we showed an ad with the invitation to the fair over 3 million times. As the Dnevnik Daily Newspaper supplement, we published an attractive and interesting fair catalogue, Oddih in 28,700 copies.