Golden Apple Award to the city of Ljubljana, European green capital 2016
On June 24th the City of Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016, received Golden Apple Award for excellent achievements in the field of tourism and sustainability. The Golden Apple Ceremony took place in the unique National Gallery of Slovenia in Ljubljana. Tijani Haddad, president of World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers presented Golden Apple to ZoranJankoviÄ‡, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana. Next day autochthon Slovenian apple tree in memory of the presentation of Golden Apple to Ljubljana was planted in the Ljubljana’s Šmartinski park.In opening speech of the Ceremony
attended by high representatives of Slovenian tourism, among them Eva ŠtravsPodlogar, Director General for Tourism and Internationalizationat Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Maja Pak, Director General of Slovenian Tourist Board and Petra Stušek, managing director of Ljubljana Tourism. On the part of World FIJET were apart from PresidentTijani Haddad present MarijanaRebiÄ‡, Secretary General, Tina ÄŒubrilo and Mohamed Salah Attia, members of FIJET Golden Apple Committee, Jacques Campe, Karin Mimica and VoljenGrbac. Ljubljana was awarded with Golden Apple with the following justification:“The list of international awards Ljubljana has received in recognition of its sustainability efforts in last years is impressive. Among the most outstanding is the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016, awarded to Ljubljana by the European Commission for achieving the biggest change in the field of sustainability in the shortest time. With the ‘Vision Ljubljana 2025’, introduced in 2007, the Slovenian capital is becoming a sustainable and ideal city. In just nine years more than 1,700 projects were implemented in line with it, while simultaneously protecting and preserving the city’s green identity.
Ljubljana also won the Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Award for 2015, handed out by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), for its excellently preserved green spaces and a forward-thinking strategy for sustainable development.
Tourism and catering represent an increasingly important economic sector in Ljubljana. Both the infrastructure and services have experienced a visible growth and quality development over the last decade. In addition to turning most of the Old Town into a pedestrian zone future city projects and announced investments in the tourism and hospitality industry are aimed at further enhancing the destination’s offer. The Golden Apple Award Ceremony and program for FIJET representatives in Ljubljana and Slovenia were courtesy of Ljubljana Tourism, Slovenian Tourist Board and company Postojnska jama.
Welcome Dinner took place in As Aperitivo in Ljubljana, present were Maja Pak, Director General of Slovenian Tourist Board and Petra Stušek, Managing Director of Ljubljana Tourism.Slovenian hosts took guests through Ljubljana, to town’s largest Tivoli City Park and to tour with wooden boat Ljubljanica to gather impressions of the green city.Lunch was taken at the stands of the Open Kitchen, unique food market on which each Friday restaurants from all over Slovenia present Slovenian and international dishes. According to FIJET representatives one of the most memorable parts of the stay in Slovenia was the visit of the Mountain Velika planina, although it demanded some walking through the highland. They rode to Velikaplanina with cable car and chairlift, and then on the top walked to one of the largest still active herdsmen’s settlements in Europe. Part of the program was also the stay in Postojna and visit of the interactive exhibition “EXPO Postojna Cave Karst” where also FIJET Golden Apple, awarded to company Postojna cave in 2014, is exhibited as one of the most important awards in the 800 years long history of Postojna cave. The proof that company Postojnska jama deserves the prestigious FIJET award are permanent investments, among the latest is renovation of Hotel Jama. Excellent farewell dinner was served in Restaurant Proteus, named after the human fish. The breaking news of the year from Postojna Cave is, that a female olmhas laid in total 52 eggs, from which the first “baby dragon” has already been hatched. Experts believe that a further 22 could go on to hatch under the constant surveillance of a biologist team.
Drago Bulc, president of FIJET Slovenia said: “As president of Slovenian Association of Travel Journalists I share happiness and pleasure with my colleagues that we managed to convince the FIJET Golden Apple Committee that Ljubljana deserves this prestigious award. All the people of Ljubljana are especially proud that their city is awarded exactly on the eve of the day, when Ljubljana 25 years ago,became the capital of an independent state, the Republic of Slovenia.”When presenting the Golden Apple Tijani Haddad stressed, that the actual Mayor and the management team of the City of Ljubljana very well understand how to give the Slovenian capital smile, good atmosphere and people-friendly environment. In his speech after receiving the FIJET award Mayor ZoranJankoviÄ‡ said that city governance focuses on finding answers to a series of issues that are important for citizens of Ljubljana now, and will be even more in the future. MayorJankoviÄ‡ expressed his thanks for the award in invited each travel journalist of World FIJET to write an article about Ljubljana. The Ceremony was