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“Glamping” in the Slovenian Alps: a critical view

A place of genuine tradition and culture: the Alpine settlement of “Velika Planina” in the Slovenian Alps. (c) Spela Bokal, CIPRA Slovenija

A new “Eco Resort” in Slovenia promises luxury farmhouse holidays. Just a few kilometres away the genuine Alpine huts of the “Velika Planina” stand ready for guests.

“Glamping” is a term coined from the English words “glamour” and “camping”: it means a holiday in nature without any of the unpleasant side-effects. This trend has now penetrated the Slovenian Alps. In a village of 800 inhabitants near Kamnik in northern Slovenia, 30 comfortable “Alpine huts” and 20 luxury tents are being constructed on the site of a former farm. “Glampers” can expect unspoilt nature for walking and cycling, a zoo containing local animals, a swimming pool with organic water purification and a beach on Slovenia’s second cleanest river.

Milking cows, making cheese, looking after small animals: the holiday guests will also learn about traditional local handicrafts and culture. A country-wide search for event organisers, supported by a large campaign, has now begun. It seems almost grotesque that just a few kilometres away there is the “Velika Planina”, one of Europe’s largest and most traditional Alpine settlements, which is now being copied on the valley floor.

Speaking about the project, Anamarija Jere of CIPRA Slovenia says: “Nature and culture are being sold here with a green cover to well-paying guests. But a careful approach to nature and society should also not be forgotten.” Whether this is really the case remains to be seen.

The discussion about nature-compatible tourism is nothing new and involves numerous controversial aspects, which is also reflected in Slovenia’s tourism strategy. On the one hand this expressly – and quite successfully – promotes a form of eco-friendly, sustainable tourism, while simultaneously desiring growth and improved air traffic links. The question remains whether the “Eco Resort” will still be able to advertise its location on the second-cleanest river in ten years’ time.

Sources and further information: www.sloveniatimes.com/eco-resort-beneath-velika-planina-an-exquisite-experience-in-sustainability (en), www.kamnik.info/predstavitev-nastajajocega-eko-kampa-velika-planina-v-godicu (sl)

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