Sustainability in destination Kočevsko

Written by: Kočevsko

According to the standards of the Green destinations organization, Slovenia is the first fully-rated green country, and within the national program Slovenia Green, destination Kočevsko has already been evaluated as a Green destination, where green experiences await at every step.

Almost 90% of the area of ​​our destination is covered by forests, which means that we are among the most wooded areas not only in Slovenia but also in Europe. Due to these exceptional natural features of Kočevsko, we have also chosen the slogan "The Secret Forest of Slovenia", which represents a central element of the sustainable and green tourism offer that we are creating. This slogan also illustrates the vast and extensive nature within our destination, which locals and foreign guests can uncover and explore through various activities.

Not only are our forests extensive, but they are also among the best-preserved, and in their deepest corners the remains of virgin forests that have been created through the careful and long-term management of local foresters are hiding. The virgin forest Krokar is also listed on the UNESCO list of natural heritage, which protects landmarks that are of exceptional universal value to all humanity. Many wild animals have also found their home in these well-preserved local forests, including all three great wild animals (bear wolf and lynx). Rich natural resources offer a wide variety of opportunities for visitors to actively spend their time in nature and experience intact forests. Our tourist offers are built in close connection with the forests that surround us, all management programs are sustainable and environmentally friendly, and some programs also carry the “Bear Friendly” certification awarded by the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana within the Life Dinalp Bear project. Hostel Bearlog, which is managed by the Institute Kočevsko has also received this label and it has also already been acquired by some local products.

Photo: Marjan Artnak


The sustainability aspect has already been highlighted in the education of local tourist guides, who are now educating guests about the importance of respect and conservation of nature. This part of the Non-consumptive use of animals in tourism is effectively controlled through programs such as Life Kočevsko and Life Dinalp Bear. Our various programs for tracking animals and their presence were developed in cooperation with and recommendations by the Institute tovarna trajnostnega turizma and the Biotechnical Faculty. Together with the Forest Service, we have established a tourist-education program that allows you to get to know bears and observe these charismatic wild animals in their natural environment and set up observatories, which are also intended for photography and photo-hunting. In addition to sustainability, our programs for observing and photographing animals also encourage the education of the local population and tourist guests about the animals, contribute to maintaining a positive attitude towards them, all without disturbing animals in their life with little or no interference of their natural environment. The implementation of these programs within our destination is carried out without pressure on the habitats of wild animals and with the awareness that natural resources are limited and must be respected and preserved. Such sustainability has many benefits for the further development of tourism and the local community, such as the added value of unique experiences and tourism products, and new partnerships being created to foster and strengthen local community engagement.


Photo: Nea Culpa in Jošt Gantar


Kočevsko is becoming a recognizable tourist destination in Slovenia and is visited mainly by groups, which are positively oriented towards nature and its conservation - smaller groups, individual guests and active athletes, who are primarily looking for a green break, relaxation, and new adrenaline challenges. The number of guests currently peaks during the warmer months, since an important part of our offers includes various outdoor activities, that are best carried out in these months, but we are also developing programs that can be carried out exclusively in wintertime (eg tracking wolves with snowshoeing through the snowy landscape).

We will continue respecting these given principles of sustainable management in our further development and efforts to create a recognizable sustainable and green destination while creating top-class experiences of the forest.


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