Maja PANČUR, Bled Tourist Board, Slovenia, firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO CITE:
<insert-authors> (2019). <insert-abstract-title>. AIRTH 2019 Conference: Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Success; 2019 Sep 12 - 14; Innsbruck, Austria. Retrieved: <insert-date>, from http://www.airth.global
Lake Bled is a glacial lake, a gem of nature and the pride of Bled and Slovenia. With a surface area of only 147 hectares, the lake is relatively small and has a low flow rate. The main threats to the lake are nutrients in the water causing the algae to bloom, traffic, high visitor numbers, and fertilization of nearby meadows. Lake Bled as one of the key attributes of the tourist destination, is exposed to a variety of impacts, most of them caused by humans.
How did we implement good practices?
The Bled destination carried out a series of small steps to protect its lake. In the period between 1 July to 15 September, we ran the 'Ask me I'm local' campaign. In spring we published a call in the local media to attract local people who were interested in working as tourist informers on the lakeside promenade walk. The candidates completed targeted training, and a leaflet was issued to raise the awareness of tourists about the importance of protecting nature and Bled's cultural heritage. Drinking fountains with free, high-quality drinking water were set up along the lake, and a number of additional portable toilets were laid out. The informers told tourists that bathing outside regulated bathing areas is not permitted, and explained why. Plants in lakefront parks were protected with fences and bins for different types of waste were installed along the paths. We also made a special video informing the visitors of the code of conduct in Bled, and car parks now offer charging stations for electric vehicles. A total of 38 electric vehicles can be charged at the time in Bled, which is the highest per capita figure in Slovenia. All the events held in Bled are zero-waste, which means that the packaging for serving food is biodegradable, and the food and drinks are offered by local providers. We conducted a questionnaire among visitors, asking them whether they have noticed the efforts towards the sustainable development of the destination, and 62% of the respondents answered positively. The awareness-raising campaign aimed at the local inhabitants ran through local media.
Visitors were satisfied because they received sustainability information on site, local inhabitants were satisfied because they were given a chance to inform visitors while making some money. Fewer people bathed in the lake outside the bathing areas while the number of people at the Grajsko kopališče public lido grew. A questionnaire was conducted to determine whether the visitors noticed the destination's sustainability efforts, and 62% of the respondents answered positively. Local people took a more active approach to sustainability, by starting to offer their guests tap water, etc. The number of e-vehicles in Bled car parks is increasing.
What have we learned?
We have learned that nothing good happens overnight, and that future is built on small steps. It is crucial that sustainable development is understood and adopted by all: local inhabitants and destination visitors.