5th partners meeting with site visit in Jugovzhodna Slovenija

On 14th, 15th and 16th of June 2021 Razvojni center Novo mesto as HealingPlaces project partner organised a site-visit for project consortium and regional stakeholders in region Jugovzhodna Slovenija. The event was also an opportunity to host the third part of partners meeting and to discuss with wider audience about management issues in spa areas in Slovenia and Central Europe. The event organised in hybrid form with participants present on site and online.

The event’s programme was focused on presentation of HealingPlaces project activities in pilot region Jugovzhodna Slovenija with emphasis on locations Dolenjske Toplice, Novo mesto, Otočec, Šmarješke Toplice and Klevevž which are characterised by spa resources. The hosts were joined by local representatives to present and discuss challenges in different territories among different target groups, especially the environmental challenges. Tourism activity in Dolenjska region is characterised by spa areas, which account for > 70 % overnight stays in the whole region. Areas with spa resources are widely used for health and tourism activities, while the surrounding nature, forest and agricultural landscape supplement them to accommodate and animate different domestic and foreign visitors.

Recent years, and especially the COVID-19 situation had relevant impacts on tourism flows and its management in the whole of Slovenia. The national (professional) tourism organisation is putting efforts into presenting Slovenia as boutique destination with sustainable management practices of natural pearls such as Otočec and Klevevž, which are in Jugovzhodna Slovenija both in near proximity of spas. Due to the country’s relevant small size the need for sustainable management of tourism flows became important more than ever. The three-day site visit was organised also in places which were provided by Terme Krka as one of the most important Slovenian business entities who use natural healing resources.

The project content discussed during the meeting was mostly focused on:

  • Elaboration of the tool for assessment of environmental impacts in spa areas.
  • Topics relevant for planning and management of natural healing resources in Central Europe and its transnational potential for environmental protection and transition into green and digital environment.
  • Presentation and discussion of project’s pilot actions which are being prepared for different Central Europe areas.

Participants had an opportunity to share and discuss about project activities with different stakeholders and target groups who focus on Slovenian settings of spa management. The event results will also contribute an important asset to the Slovenian pilot action of HealingPlaces project in part where environmental management measures will be necessary.