SEE Green Destinations’ Nominees for Story Awards

Global organisation Green Destinations, supporting sustainable destinations, their businesses, and their communities, has announced its nominees for the 2024 Green Destinations Story Awards.

Here are the destinations in Southeast Europe (SEE) that are nominated for the award:

Miren Kras – Slovenia/ Category: Environment & Climate

“The extreme summer of 2022 marked the destination Miren Kras for the second time in 3 years with a forest fire – this time the largest in the history of Slovenia. It destroyed 3,600 hectares of land, 80% of which is the territory of one of the greenest and most sustainable destinations in Slovenia

The campaign was created for collecting donations for the reconstruction of the burnt area and for the establishment of a new green hiking transversal, which will connect the territory into a new, cross-border educational-tourism product which will raise awareness on climate change and empowerment and the promotion of tourism development in the entire affected area.”

Belsh – Albania/ Category: Culture & Tradition

“During the turmoil of dictatorial rule, the people of Belsh, along with the rest of Albania, were compelled to abandon their millennia-old religions, cultures, and histories. However, the tide turned with the remarkable discovery of a hidden 2,300-year-old underwater shrine dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite, known as Aferdita in Albanian.

The people of Belsh not only battled to protect this ancient treasure but also wholeheartedly embraced the lost customs of their ancestors with an annual festival.

This renaissance not only reignited a vibrant sense of community spirit and a deep connection with their ancestral heritage but also transformed Belsh’s Lake Seferan into an enchanting tourist hotspot. This paved the path for impactful public-private collaborations, fuelling the growth of sustainable tourism.”

Brezice – Slovenia/ Category: Culture & Tradition

“Brezice is a sustainable destination in Slovenia with a rich natural and cultural heritage, full of folk traditions and customs. The soil and climate of the area have historically provided ideal conditions for the development of viticulture, which has thus become part of our culture. In recent years, interest in preserving this tradition among young people has waned. Many vineyards throughout Slovenia have begun to wither away, left to become overgrown or even cut down by their owners.”

Saleska Valley – Slovenia/ Culture & Tradition

“The boutique 5 star experience at Saleska Valley, with the Coal Mining Museum, Sailing on Velenje lake, virtual diving into the past and culinary experience on the overlook Vista. The experience takes approximately 4 hours. At the start the guests are greeted in front of The Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia by a tour guide miner. 160 meters underground the visitors watch a digital presentation of the sinking surface and village.”

Bosanska Krupa – Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Category: Thriving Communities

“The main issue Bosanska Krupa faced was a neglected and unused communal space in the heart of the city center, a place only partially accessible to citizens and visitors. An area void of any content, plan, or protection. Therefor “Zeleni otoci” or Green Islands was created, an unique city park made up of eight river islands in the heart of Bosanska Krupa.

This idyllic place is a haven for the soul and body, showcasing the harmonious coexistence of people and nature. It is more than just a destination; it is our vision of a sustainable and harmonious future, a source of inspiration and motivation for everyone, a part of our community’s identity, and a lifestyle that embraces nature in our everyday lives.”

Bison Land – Romania/ Category: Thriving Communities

“The local community of Bison Land was losing the connection with their culture, traditions and overall interest in the area.
Through a local university, it was highlighted that the area has the lowest local pride – despite the rich material and immaterial heritage. The local community, especially the younger generations, didn’t see the value of their local authenticity while promoting an Europeans and global lifestyle. This could lead to a disappearance of the local traditions. The DMO has been working for the last 3 years together with the local community to bring more local pride and understanding of the value of local traditions to the local community.

This is fundamentally important also for the tourism sector of the area, since tourists are mostly attracted by the local traditions, food & craft.”

The 2024 Green Destinations Story Awards showcase the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development in 6 categories from submissions to the 2023 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition.

The Green Destinations Story Awards ceremony will take place at ITB Berlin 2024.

(Image: Pixabay)