Model of integral green economy

as a holistic approach for development of tourism offer in pilot EDEN destinations /  Author: Marko Slapnik,

For the Model of Integral Green Economy, developed by Ronnie Lessem and Alexander Schieffer, which was presented on many practical cases in book Integral Green Slovenia, we tried to present practical value also in development and cooperation of EDEN destinations in the project EDEN55plusNW. There are five pilot EDEN destinations in the framework of EDEN55plusNW project: Vulkanland (AT), NP Northern Velebit (HR), River Kolpa (SI), Idria (SI) and Logarska dolina – Solčavsko(SI). The partners of the project (Srce Slovenije, Center za idrijsko dediščino, Provital, Agencija M, Steirisches Vulkanland, Stadtgemeinde Feldbach, Nacionalni park Sjeverni Velebit and Universita delle libereta AUSER di Trieste) want to promote cooperation among the EDEN destinations aiming to create integral tourist programmes for seniors 55+, to prolong the season in EDEN destinations and to encourage SMEs to design custom-made offers for seniors. Coordinated action and promotion of each EDEN destination require coordinated action of different stakeholders, from municipalities and public sector to the enterprises and private tourism providers to different societies and other interested parties. For preparing a coordinated action of an EDEN destination we posed these three key questions:
1.What does the title European Destination of Excellence relate to? Which are the key topics to distinguish an EDEN destination?
2.What has already been done to develop and present the key topics of EDEN destination and how do individual stakeholders cooperate and connect?
3.What can your organisation do to be recognized as an active part of European Destination of Excellence?
What about sustainable development and Integral Green Economy?
Read more
Marko Slapnik


Project presentation at the Regional Office of the Chamber of Commerce

The project EDEN55plus-NW creates a tourist network in the Styrian Vulkanland region. The proximity to Slovenia and Croatia is a great advantage, the tourist companies can use the export opportunities.
Through a transnational offer and through the application in the cooperating nations. The project facilitates networking, as the two student tours have already shown. In three workshops the companies will elaborate a strategic plan, which can be made in the future. A big first step is that by summer 2017, the participating regions will have available online and / or part-printed brochures with contact exchanges and a brief description of the companies. A second step is the transnational cooperation between agencies. The result is an exchange of knowledge between well-informed local persons, the accompaniment will be accompanied in the language of the guests, which gives the target group 55+ security. But all steps begin very small. All documents in the network of the national partners in English and the mother tongue, such as the information newsletter, are used to raise the awareness of the bilingual offer. Particularly for small businesses, this is a support and a possibility to be part of the network.


tourguide’s point of view

EDEN55plusNW According to the project SPIRIT OF REGIONS was responsible for preparing tourism related SME´s sudy tour in Vulkanland on 8th and 9th of November 2016.
In close consultation with our contractor, the Styrian Vulkanland, we were responsible for the entire program creation and implementation (room reservation, program times with timetable, entrance fees, food). In line with the season and the target group, the regional characteristics of the EDEN region were presented to the entrepreneurs. The tour was accompanied by us in German. The projectpartner agency Agencija M, based in Maribor, has accompanied the group from Maribor to Vulkanland and retour and took over the translation for Slovenian, Croatian and German. The experiences with agency Agencija M were very good and are also carried out outside the project.
For some operators, the trip was tiring because of the long journey. The final feedback and the exchange of experiences among the hosts as hosts and visitors were very interesting.
The brochures and the websites of the region and the companies are mostly only available in German. For the step of internationalization, this area needs to be supplemented in English.
We found it very wise that a photographer accompanied the tour. Good pictures are an important part for a new seasonal language. Make a photographing place for the destinations.
There is a lot of talk about culinary delights in Vulkanland. A very sensual language is used for the finishing of these products, but the food was very fleshy.
Due to the bad weather, movement in nature was badly possible, for the offer with couples and with women groups it must necessarily be considered.
Because of the large single room requirement was in the city center of Feldbach. In the case of small groups, care should be taken to keep them as close to nature as possible.
All excursion destinations were easily accessible by bus and are prepared on bus groups. For the individual arrival of guests, it is important that the region and the companies describe the available public transport and taxis.
The introductory lecture by the chairman of the Vulkanland region, Mr. Ober, has particularly enjoyed the guests’ learning experience. He reported on the strategic work in regional development over the past 15 years, gave an outlook on the future and underlined the importance of the cooperation of the EDEN regions in this spatial proximity, as can be learned in the project.





Study trip to Vulkanland / Styria – Day 2

After a restful sleep and a volcanic breakfast in the two hotels Pfeilers and Hödl-Kaplan, the second day started with a guided tour and tasting at the chocolate manufacture Zotter. Through glass corridors the group could visually accompany the chocolate bean from the roasting to the finished chocolate in this transparent factory. In between, there was time to taste lots of chocolate.


During the visit to the small organic farm Raabauer Eisvogel of Wilma and Karl Kaufmann, where redcurrant, elderberry, aronia and pumpkin as well as roses are cultivated, the group had an insight into the processing steps in a small organic farm in the Vulkanland.


Revitalised by the pumpkin soup, we went to the organic flower farm “vom Hügel” where the participants made an autumn / winter arrangement from regional, seasonal elements of nature (branches, flowers and leaves as well as fruits) – slow flowers.


At the end of the study trip, a visit to the Heurigenschenke “Sterngucker” with Styrian Brettljause and Junkertasting took place, as is tradition in Styria on the Wednesday before Martini (11.11.). With a glass of young wine of the current year (Junker) the impressions of the study trip were discussed, experiences from the respective regions exchanged and questionnaires filled out.


The results of the study tour will be used to provide custom-made holiday packages for the target group ladies 55+ as well as couples 55+ in the secondary season and will be presented in a separate article after the evaluation.


Photos on Flickr
Studytour Vulkanland EDEN55plusNW

Study trip to Vulkanland / Styria – Day 1

As part of the project Eden55plusNW, a group of small and medium-sized enterprises from Slovenia and Croatia, as well as a representative of a senior citizens’ organization, visited the Austrian region “Vulkanland Styria” from 8th – 9th November. The goal of the study tour was, on the one hand, the learning of the tourist offer of the region around Feldbach, as well as the networking of SMEs from Slo / Cro / Aut among each other.


With a Slovenian bus company the entrepreneurs started in Maribor, accompanied by Agencija M from Maribor. From Straden Gabriele Grandl / agency Spirit of Regions supported the tour guide with stories about the Vulkanland Styria.


The Feldbacher Power breakfast at Cafe Jörg Wolf was a seasonal array of colour in the morning. Just a few steps away the guests were amazed at the rich collection in the Universalmuseum Tabor, originally built as a defense system in the Middle ages. Beatrice Strohmaier lightheartedly led the group. Scarcely sitting on the benches of the old school class, they attempted to write with ink and feather and decorated paper bags creatively. A souvenir of the region – a volcanic tuff stone – went into these bags.


The mayor of the town of Feldbach and chairman and initiator of the Vulkanland, Mr. Josef Ober, gave an stimulating speech on the development of the region over the past 20 years and and the goal envisaged.

At the luncheon in the Gasthof Hödl-Kaplan, with chestnut soup and Styrian fried chicken, there was enough time to discuss the impression of the mayor’s speech.


Snowfall created the perfect setting for the following visit, namely the Christmas exhibition in the Renaissance castle Kornberg. 150 craftsmen and food producers present their products in the vaults.
Food philosophy and his regional way of thinking were illustrated by Roman Schmidt from the advertising agency Conterfei, including organic beer by Lava Bräu.

At the Vulcano ham factory, the group learned all the facts about the raw ham production that pioneered the region. A film-based fairy tale about the dream come true, an emotionally medial portrayal of increasing maturity with landscapes of all four seasons, a pleasing flavour to the palate in the tasting – Vulcano is one of the best ham in the world.


The conclusion of the first intensive day was the visit to the Herrenhof Lamprecht. A dedicated organic wine-grower enlightened us his wine selection and opened the gate in the vaulted cellar to a Blues Concert.


Photos on Flickr
Studytour Vulkanland EDEN55plusNW