To achieve the vision of Slovenia as a green boutique destination for five-star experiences – which is also a strictly binding promise – the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has set up a national development and marketing platform defining clear criteria for five-star experiences and guidelines for developing them.
By including a product in the carefully selected group of five-star experiences, the STB will give the product provider marketing support in foreign markets under the "Slovenia Unique Experiences" brand. The group includes unique and authentic premium-quality that support the story of a green boutique Slovenia and the "I feel Slovenia" brand.
The new language of luxury
Trends in various tourist markets indicate that today travellers value authentic experiences that give them an opportunity to connect with the place they are visiting on many levels – physical, emotional, experiential, spiritual, intellectual and social. They want special moments that create strong emotional connections and memorable experiences that are anything but generic products. They should be personalised and not standardised, unique and not generic, managed but with a sense of individuality, exclusive but accessible, transparent but including elements of surprise, and respecting tradition but taking into account modern consumers’ needs.
In line with the new language of luxury, such experiences address demanding, open and curious visitors, who do not want to see only the most high-profile sights and hurry from one attraction to the next, but who seek a genuine connection with the local community and interesting stories that touch the heart, inspire and create memories for life. In short, a visitor that Slovenia has also defined in its vision.
This is also the main idea and approach in the new communication platform and refreshed creative solution to be launched by the STB in March 2019 on foreign markets under the brand "I feel Slovenia" and the campaign slogan "My way", which highlights experiences and invites everyone to feel Slovenia in their own way.
- Ljubljana Castle for you - a private castle experience. Photo: STB archives
- Glamping house. Photo: STB archives
- Kayaking adventures under Mount Peca. Photo: STB archives
- The vintage gourmet tour. Photo: STB archives
- Fonda Fish Garden. Photo: STB archives
- The moustache tour. Photo: STB archives
The first nine five-star experiences already in the group
The first nine five-star experiences of the new Slovenia Unique Experiences brand are already known. An expert committee selected them from among the seventeen submissions in response to the first call for applications for creating five-star experiences published last year by the STB. The call is open throughout the year, with spring and autumn deadlines for assessment.
The applicants may be accommodation providers or tourist, sports and DMC agencies and other providers that ensure the organisation or implementation of an experience. The product must be designed as a product for sale, guided in at least one foreign language, already supplied by the applicant (and thus a tried and tested product) and presented with the applicant’s key marketing tools. The application must be supported by high quality photos. In order to be awarded the Slovenia Unique Experiences label, a product must fulfil forty criteria classified into ten thematic groups. When applying, the provider must sign a declaration that as a future member of the Slovenia Unique Experiences group it is ready to meet the quality requirements and ensure that the product is supplied in appropriate manner.
What is a five-star experience?
- LOCAL: Based on local identity, it is faithful to nature, culture and people in the area, and it supports the brand and destination’s identity through a story.
- AUTHENTIC: It offers a genuine, original experience, and does not copy or take these from others.
- UNIQUE: It has an element of individuality and adds value to the unique selling opportunities of the provider or destination.
- EXPERIENTIAL: It has a strong experiential note, and it addresses visitors at the emotional and experiential levels.
- GREEN: It ensures all the basic elements of sustainable operation.
- BOUTIQUE CHARACTER: It offers visitors a feeling of individuality and a boutique character.
- PREMIUM: It ensures premium quality, with high-quality implementation throughout the customers’ experience.
- ADDED VALUE: Owing to the strong experiential note and engagement of people, the product generates higher added value and addresses demanding visitors from abroad who are prepared to pay a little extra for something special.
- DE-SEASONALISATION: It has good content that attracts tourists in seasons other than summer.
- FIVE-STAR CHARACTER: It contributes to fulfilling the promise of making Slovenia a green boutique destination for five-star experiences.
Meet the first nine
Kayaking adventures under Mount Peca
Take part in an underground adventure, paddling through the flooded tunnels of the largest lead and zinc mine in this part of Europe. Feel the dark and sense the silence in the middle of the abandoned mine where engines once roared.
The moustache tour
A four-hour cycling tour through the most beautiful streets and parks of Ljubljana, where you get to know the great moustachioed men of Slovenian culture. An experience that will help you understand the soul of the nation and the capital that put a statue of a poet, not a warrior, in its main square.
Bled Garden Village: a night in a treehouse with its own gardens in the middle of a forest
Luxurious camping in the treetops with all the comfort of a hotel room. A journey back to nature, so you’ll never want to sleep in a hotel room again. A very green story of a mini landscape park where you’re taught to work with your hands through gardening.
The vintage gourmet tour
A nostalgic journey with legendary old-timer vehicles visiting Istrian olive groves. Have fun tasting premium olive oils and traditional Istrian cuisine. Your guides are members of the Lisjak family, one of the greatest olive-oil producers in Slovenia.
Ljubljana Castle for you – a private castle experience
A private tour through nine hundred years of history in this medieval fortress. A unique castle experience in the company of a personal assistant and actors, who will bring history to life before your eyes.
An unforgettable day at the Fonda fish farm
Get to know a fish boutique in the middle of the sea, where the fish eat like a royalty.
A very personal story of a family of biologists that decided to raise the finest fish in the world. During your voyage through the "field in the sea" you can listen to their passionate and ultimately delicious story.
Following in the footsteps of Luka Čeč
An adrenaline-filled adventure in the hidden tunnels of the most famous karst cave in Europe that transforms tourists into explorers. In the darkness and silence you will learn about the incredibly rich biodiversity of the karst underground. The highlight of the adventure is meeting the olm, or human fish, in its natural habitat.
The story of a soldier from the Isonzo Front
An unforgettable experience for all history lovers searching for human stories of the soldiers who fought on the Isonzo Front and the memories of their relatives. A moving story of history and cheese, which is a key part of the economy for locals.
Short natural science holidays in Slovenia – an extended outdoor weekend
Exploration holidays for serious nature lovers. Visit a boutique reserve of rare plants and endangered animals. Witness the splendour of silence and primal nature. Trade sleeping in hotel rooms for the experience of staying on a holiday farm. Cuisine will include a "backpack lunch" featuring carefully selected seasonal local products.
Date: 5. November 2019
Time to read: 6 min