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A blessing and a curse

Aug 30, 2017
Some places are deserted, others are overrun by tourists. The two Slovenian municipalities of Bled and Bohinj in the Triglav National Park were faced with the latter situation, as they struggled with masses of cars this summer.
Image caption:
The overwhelming beauty of the landscape of Bled, Bohinj and the Triglav National Park clearly demonstrates why the region is a tourist magnet. © Slovenska turistična organizacija

Visitors on the way to the Triglav National Park and Bohjini cannot avoid Bled. The village is located on a scenic lake with an island in the middle, all ideal for swimming, picnicking and relaxing. In the last three years these locations have attracted almost 50% more tourists than before. The increase is mainly attributable to day-trippers: most of these come in their own cars and often ignore the official parking areas. The municipalities are now trying to find a solution for the benefit of residents, visitors and, last but not least, the natural environment.

For some time now the regional tourist authorities have made a name for themselves with their sustainable, prudent style of tourism management. Bohinj has been a strong advocate for public transport, while both communities are also members of the “Alpine Pearls” network. A guest card, for example, offers visitors free public transport. In order to regulate the large numbers of visitors, the town of Bled has asked local visitors to observe the official car parking areas, to travel by public transport and preferably to visit the region in autumn rather than in summer to help alleviate the situation. Responses vary from understanding to head-shaking. The municipalities now wish to see the Slovenian authorities also commit to sustainable development in the region, for example with a better feeder system for public transport so that more people will decide to come by train. Spela Berlot, executive director of CIPRA Slovenia, welcomes the commitment on the part of the municipalities: “As gates to the Triglav National Park, Bohinj and Bled are also role models for other tourist regions.” It is thus vital to find sustainable solutions for these challenges.


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Filed under: alpMedia 06/2017, Tourism