Tourism Ten for Ten – April
This month we travel to Slovenia for our tourism First Friday – Ten for Ten. Destination development and sustainable tourism expert Misa Novak. Misa is Director of ALOHAS a tourism consulting firm based in Slovenia and co-founder of a non-profit institute GoodPlace – Factory for Sustainable Tourism. Between 2017 to 2019, she was the Strategic Project Manager at Slovenian Tourist Board, responsible for internationally acclaimed tourism development projects such as the Big Idea Communication Platform for the country’s I feel Slovenia brand and the Development of Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism.
- What do you think will be the most main focus in destination marketing in 2021?
Understanding that recovery takes time and that explosion of communications is not the way forward. Understanding that it is working on increasing long-term resilience and sustainability of tourism that really matters today. Taking the time to re-think marketing strategy and change the way promotion has been done – re-evaluating markets in terms of their sustainability and stability, switching from paid marketing to owned and earned contents. Above all: walking the talk.
- Where will be the focus on innovation for the outdoors and activities?
Offering the outdoors in a balanced, soft mobility supported and carbon neutral way, with smart management and distribution of tourism flows.
- What will be the most immediate change in the use of technology in the tourism industry this year?
The use of technologies for contactless hospitality services.
- What is the new opportunity for community tourism in 2021?
Covid-19 has alongside its devastating impact on global economy given us an oppurtunity to slow down, think about unsustainable growth and practices in the past, and re-set. To claim our communities back, to be able to provide more sustainable and responsible models of sharing the natural and social resources of a local community. For local communities to become the heart and soul of the place. Giving the people their voices back.
- What will be the biggest trends in food tourism this year?
Locally sourced food, with fair practices and high hygiene and safety standards. Also taking the food experiences outside, to inspirational places in nature. Bringing together top chefs and local producers, to provide sustainable local new products.
- What aspects of wellness tourism will be the fastest to grow this year?
Finding inspiration and healing remedies from nature, integrating them into wholesome detox, balance, re-charge programs.
- What will be the focus for large urban destinations in attracting back visitors in 2021?
Offering experiences in more intimate places and environments and also taking them outdoors – going beyond traditional concepts of cultural experiences and events.
- What will the new merging factors motivating visitors to select one destination over another when booking their vacation in 2021?
A feeling of trust. Choosing a destination for what it’s admired for and not what it’s advertised for.
- What will be the greatest area of focus for sustainable tourism development?
Building green infrastructure – going from soft sustainability deep into technological and infrastructural solutions, in all areas of environmental sustainability (digital and green solutions, soft mobility).
Quick Fire Round
Favourite holiday destination
Destinations with calm, tranquil, serene landscapes, cool weather and not many people around
- Best ‘Hidden Gem / Off the beaten track’ place you have visited?
Kočevsko, an area only an hour from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, with vast forests and tranquillity, known to be the kingdom of the bear, Slovenia
- What is the most memorable food tourism experience you have enjoyed?
Rice with wild herbs and flowers, served on a rough peace of wood, amidst the Kočevje forests, after a full day hike
- Name one place you haven’t visited but is top of your bucket list?
Faroe Islands – but not in a typical way – staying there for a month, somewhere away from it all (but with a fascinating ocean views), with good literature and no agenda
- If you had to invite four people to dinner in your favourite holiday destination who would you invite and why?
Guest 1: A Faroese fisherman; to hear the stories of the rough environment he has been living in
Guest 2: A local teacher; to have deeper insights into the life in the Islands
Guest 3: A young couple just starting on their own, at home; to see how they value this incredible place and how they see their future
Guest 4: A priest; to get a feel of the local community values and life