Aleksandra Golob, Ph.D.
Oplotnica, Slovenske Konjice, Vitanje and Zreče are four mountain municipalities in the Slovenian Alps. Each has operated separately historically, taking the development of tourism in its own individual direction. Local tourism stakeholders wondered how to encourage tourists to visit less-frequented municipalities and how to bring visitors away from crowded areas. Their goal was to ensure a more balanced distribution of tourists and to provide the local population with opportunities to earn additional income.
The adoption of the 2017-2021 Rogla-Pohorje Destination Tourism Development and Marketing Plan provided a framework for the four municipalities to collaborate and created a joint brand. The plan follows the triple bottom line model, combining the environmental, economic and social aspects of tourism development. After the municipalities joined forces, the sustainable management of the Rogla-Pohorje Tourist Destination (RPTD) was added.
The RPTD brought the communities together to systematically plan their mountain area’s sustainable development and how to market their touristic offerings. Outcomes included joint promotional activities, development projects, the creation of the “Tastes of Rogla” brand, training opportunities for providers, joint tourist packages, a joint discount card, a joint website including a booking system and online store, a complimentary summer bus route throughout RPTD and free guides for RPTD visitors.
As the proud holder of the national “Slovenia Green Destination gold label” certification, it is dedicating its resources to ensuring the health and safety of the local population and its visitors, and the systematic, sustainable and socially responsible development of local tourism.
The sustainable development of the destination is being supervised by one accredited green coordinator with the help of a RPTD team and all four municipalities. The municipalities have agreed on a three-year Sustainability Action Plan, which will expire in December 2023. In this way, the destination is in the process of becoming attractive to the local population, visitors, and local and foreign investors, further enriching the tourism offer.
The Rogla ski resort is owned by the company Unitur, as well as the Hotel Natura in Rogla and the Hotel Atrij Superior in Zreče, which have sustainability labels. The company also established the Pohorje Nature Fund. One percent of each daily ski pass and 10 percent of each cross-country ticket go towards the Fund. The money raised is intended for the implementation of actions, projects and activities in the field of nature conservation.
Overall, the project has seen many quantitative and qualitative impacts:
Table 1 – An overview of the Tastes of Rogla brand.
TASTES OF ROGLA BRAND
More information is available in the Tastes of Rogla brochure: https://www.rogla-pohorje.si/mma_bin.php?id=2020082815305437.
Author of photographs: Miha Matavž Photo @ Video
Link to publication: Mountain tourism – Towards a more sustainable path