The Green Destinations Community was launched at ITB Berlin 2015.
Terms and Conditions
Online voting terms and conditions and privacy notice
1. You can take part in GD Story Award – People’s Choice vote by accessing https://greendestinations.org/peoples-choice-award/
You will find the selection of the 2020 Top 100 Destinations, and can vote by electronically selecting the film you wish to vote for.
2. Voting will open at 12:00 CET on Monday 8th February, 2021, and will close at 14:00 CET Wednesday 3dr March, 2021 . Any votes registered outside the announced voting times will not count.
3. The number of times you can vote is restricted to one vote per person.
4. The GD Story Award – People’s Choice will be announced at the Green Destinations Story Awards ceremony (online) on 12 March 2021.
5. Green Destinations reserves the right to disqualify entries or suspend voting if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent voting has occurred or if it considers there has been any attempt to rig the voting.
6. If, for any reason, the online voting system fails, the vote may be suspended or a contingency plan may be actioned.
7. Green Destinations reserves the right to change, cancel or suspend this vote at any time.
Your trust is very important to us. Green Destinations is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.
It is important that you read this notice so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information. This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your relationship with us, in accordance with data protection law.
What will we collect and how we use it?
Green Destinations is the data controller of your information that is collected. Your personal data will only be used for sending you information related to the 2021 Green Destinations Story Awards Ceremony and the winner of the People’s Choice category.
Retaining your information
Green Destinations will retain your personal data for until one week after the Awards ceremony. More details here https://greendestinations.org/events/gd-story-awards-itb/
Sharing your information
Your personal data will not be shared with any additional third parties outside Green Destinations.
Klemen Langus,who has been the director of Turizem Bohinj Board for many years, continuously strives to put sustainable and environmental development at the core of all activities in tourism. Under his leadership Turizem Bohinj has created a comprehensive sustainable tourism model, which bases on local economy and prioritising local people.
Mrs. Jačan Obratov has a journalism degree from the Zagreb University Faculty of Political Science. Her career in tourism began at the Head office of the Croatian Tourist National Board where she still works. From 2000 to 2002 she was Head of the Information Department and between 2002 and 2013, Head of the Communications and Publishing Department. She ran the Destination Support Department until March 2016 when she was appointed Director of Destination Management and Product Development Support Division. Through years of working in the publishing and production fields, Slavija and her team put through numerous projects that the Croatian National Tourist Board received recognition and awards. Mrs. Jačan Obratov was editor-in-chief of the oldest Croatian international interdisciplinary journal “Tourism“ between 2003 and 2013.
During high school and later studying graphical design, Ognjen started his career on Radio Brod and later on Croatian Televison. During his more than 20 years on Croatian Television, Ognjen started from journalist position, through being editor and presenter of Prisma, Croatia today and Good morning Croatia where he is today journalist, editor, videojournalist and program leader. In his spare time Ognjen likes to travel around globe, bicycle through Croatia, cook and present food and read.
Master of Economic Sciences with many years of experience in the fields of business management, projects, marketing, tourism development at the national level and management of tourist destinations at the local level, also co-designer of the national project Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. Currently is managing the tourist destination Miren Kras, which in 2019 received the golden sign of the Slovenian Green Destination and is ranked among the 6 most sustainable Slovenian destinations.
Carla Chandra is the Deputy Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, with the responsibility for product development and promotion of Guyana as a leading sustainable destination. She was born and spent her childhood in a remote indigenous community in Guyana called Kamarang, and has seen how tourism has positively impacted communities focused on tourism. With over 15 years of experience in the Travel and Tourism Industry and a great love for her country, Carla has a strong drive to contribute towards the development of Guyana and knows that sustainable tourism is the way to do that.
Fiskars Village, founded in 1649, is famous for long traditions of craftsmanship. It has plenty to offer in terms of modern design and art. Exhibitions, the museum, as well numerous performing art, slow food and outdoor events provide interesting experiences throughout the year.
Buildings from 17th to 19th century today house hotels, boutiques and restaurants. The village, located in beautiful river valley, is also home to nearly 600 people that form an active community committed to sustainable development.
The village got an award as the best domestic travel destination 2016 and received European Commission’s Culture EDEN in Finland award 2018.
Thierry is Dutch from Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. He came to volunteer in refugee centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the conflict in the ’90. Fast forward twenty five+ years, and Thierry decided to make Bosnia his home and together with friends set up Green Visions. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first ecotourism and outdoor adventure business. Since 2000 he has been instrumental in shaping responsible tourism in the highland communities in BiH and the Western Balkan region. Thierry has been actively involved in the creation of the Via Dinarica long-distance trail, connecting 8 Countries in the Western Balkans.
Mrs. Santos de Cárdenas is a pioneer advocate specializing in sustainable tourism development and stewardship initiatives with community social responsibility at grassroots application. She has been a staunch innovator, keynote speaker and resource person in learning and capacity building workshops for sustainable tourism to include Ecotourism, Community-based and Agri-Tourism promotion. She was a consultant and adviser for Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines and a founding board member of the Asian Ecotourism Network.
Mrs. Santos de Cárdenas will join us as a keynote speaker with her presentation: The Southeast Asian Experience (Oct 9, Zagreb 10:00am)
Public Institution “Priroda” is responsible for managing protected areas and NATURA 2000 sites in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County through inventorying, evaluating, monitoring and supervision of protected natural areas, participating in the execution of international agreements on nature protection and implementation of European legislations and EU Directives related to the protection of natural values. In order to preserve griffon vultures, a strictly protected bird species on the basis of Croatian legislation, the Institution established the new Beli Visitor and Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures, which is the only registered griffon vulture rescue center in the Republic of Croatia.
Alpine Pearls joins together over 20 member villages and supports its member destinations by improving and expanding environmentally friendly tourist offers based on innovative sustainable mobility solutions. Our speaker Tomaž Rogelj used to be in the finance industry in Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland. In recent years his career focused on tourism and international organizations. As a director of Bled Tourist Board he strives to develop tourism in a sustainable way and to improve the quality of services.
Mr. Rogelj will join us with his presentation: Alpine Pearls E-Tour – 1.000 miles from Cogne (Italy) to Bled (Slovenia) with electric cars as a part of our panel sessions on the theme: Facing the Carbon and Climate challenge is Tourism, incl. soft mobility.
Lidija Srnec is working in Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service in Zagreb. She graduated from the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology at the University of Zagreb. In 2010 she finished Postgraduate Study of Natural Sciences. In DHMZ she is working in Climate Modelling, Climate Change Monitoring and Biometeorology Division. Her work is mainly in regional climate change filed and biometeorology.
The manager of the destination Bison Land. One of her loves is the tourism, since the highschool, but also with the region where she is coming from. She was studding tourism and project management and now she is one of the ones looking forward to develop the region Bison Land, the home land.
Asociatia Tinutul Zimbrului is the DMO which develops the area which includes the Romsilva – Natural Park Vanatori Neamt. In this way is working with the park administration, local community, stakeholders with an impact in the tourism area. And is looking for opportunities which will help the region to grow, but also to keep the authenticity of the area, including the nature.
José Romana is head of the Nature and Biodiversity division at Cascais Ambiente, with a degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Algarve and a postgraduate degree in Management from ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management. He is responsible for managing the teams of territorial planning , environmental monitoring and maintenance of natural spaces, under the management of Cascais Ambiente.
The Blue World Institute (BWI) has worked on Lošinj Island for 20 years monitoring the resident bottlenose dolphin community and promoting their conservation. In the last five years, the BWI has developed a dolphin-watching programme designed to set industry standards as this protected species has become seen more as a tourism resource than an integral part of the environment. The exponential growth of dolphin-watching in Croatia places these animals at risk, the need for a mandatory code of conduct and licencing issued by the Ministry of Tourism would help to protect these animals and protect responsible operators working in the region. International recommendations exist and should be adopted in Croatia.
Pekka Alhojärvi is the representative of Green Destinations in Finland.
Green Destinations in Finland (www.greendestinations.fi) represents Green Destinations scheme primarily in Finland and collaborates with organizations in neighboring countries (Nordic countries and the Baltic States) as well as in the Russian federation. The main office is located in Helsinki at the premises of Silvacultura ltd. (www.silvacultura.com), which is the partner of GD in Finland. GD Finland works closely with Ecoconsult network in Finland (www.ecoconsult.fi) and promotes fair trade and appropriate financing sources for sustainable investments, strengthens sustainable local, regional and rural development in all of its activities and works closely in and with international networks on eco-tourism such as (www.ecotrans.de) and with selected certification schemes regarding forests, organic food, water resources and fisheries. GD in Finland is actively working with schemes and tools regarding climate change with the public and private sectors and NGOs internationally and in Finland. GD in Finland provides also auditing and evaluation services for sustainable development and tourism.
Mr. Alhojärvi will be the chair of the first panel dedicated to Communities & Culture. He will also present Success stories of Fiskars Village and GD in Finland together with Kari Selkälä, the Director of Fiskars Village.
Carlos Bernardes is Mayor of Torres Vedras, a municipality in the Portuguese district of Lisbon, since 2015, he is also “Quality Coast” Ambassador, “Green Destinations” Ambassador, and member of the Political Advisory Committee of the CIVITAS Initiative. He holds a PhD in Tourism by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, and a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Business Management by the Polytechnic Institute of the West. He has participated in several conferences, seminars, workshops and courses related to tourism, environment, sustainability and mobility, among other areas.
Maja Rešić is Head of Department for General relations in Public Institution Nature Park Lastovo islands. She has been on this position for 3 years. Public Institution Nature Park Lastovo islands is a marine protected area that has been managing the area since 2006. Consisting of 42 islands, islets and reefs and a geographical position, presents a challenge in management and preservation.
Valentina Bračanov is Head of Department for Acceptance of Visitors in Public Institution Kornati National Park. She has been in this position for 4 years. Public Institution Kornati National Park is a marine protected area that has been managing the area since 1980. Consisting of 89 islands, islets and reefs and a geographical position, presents a challenge in management and preservation.
Founder, CEO and President of Sustainable Riviera Maya, Ms. Barreal is a visionary towards “Paradise forever AND for everyone” fostering Sustainability through pride of belonging and inner force.
Professional in Communications, Branding and Marketing for 25 years, passionate about sustainability and the innovative sustainable management of Riviera Maya from marketing to international networking. Leader and promoter of the Destination Certification process for Playa del Carmen, and ultimately, Co-founder of Mexico Sostenible.
Mrs. Barreal will join us as a keynote speaker with her presentation: The Latinamerica Experience. (Oct 9, Zagreb, 11:00am)
Irena Peršić Živadinov is the director of Kvarner Region Tourist Board. Before she took over her current position, her educational background and work experience were extensive: educated in Croatia, Italy and the USA; after attending an Italian high school, she graduated in the USA, where she afterwards studied Business Management. She continued education at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Padua (Italy). After returning to Croatia, from the Faculty of Tourism she gained a Master’s degree and obtain her doctorate (Sustainable Energy Management in the Hotel Life Cycle). She is fluent in Italian and English.
Consulting-Elementerre is dedicated to help actors in the tourism sector to integrate sustainability into their daily operation. I develop tailor-made solutions which lead to a long-term and sustainable quality improvement. Furthermore, I advise institutions (GIZ, Futouris) and companies (Thomas Cook) on the realization of sustainable tourism projects
Portuguese independent expert, born in Lisbon in 1973, graduated in Geography of Regional and Urban Planning and living in the Azores since 2003. Owner of a Fisheries Services and Consultancy company, Henrique is also focused on sustainable solutions for the marine environment and territory in general. With early connections to Blue Flag Association, head of an Environmental movement in the Azores and representing the QualityCoast Awards Jury in 2015, Henrique has a Certificate in Sustainable Tourism by successfully completing the GSTC STTP (Sustainable Tourism Training Program in 2017. Since 2017 Henrique has been working as an independent auditor for QualityCoast Awards and Green Destinations certification.
Masaru founded Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) to promote authentic ecotourism in the region by creating a networking platform for ecotourism fraternity. In 2018 Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies (JARTA) was also created to enhance responsible tourism movement in Japan. Also servin a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad. Japan Tourism Agency sustainable tourism international standard committee member, United Nations Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee Member of 10 YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme until earlyr this year. GSTC authorized trainer, Green Destinations auditor/coach, Travelife auditor, etc.
Siniša Topalović is managing partner at Horwath HTL. He has been involved in more than 150 projects within Horwath HTL network, shaping today’s tourism industry landscape in well-established but also emerging destinations worldwide.
His fields of expertise include strategic and operational advisory in tourism and hospitality sector, including but not limited to strategies and master planning, market expansion strategies, hotel and resort development, transactional market advisory, management contracts negotiations, project financing, tourism marketing and branding planning, product development.
This year, the main theme is ‘Green Solutions for Destinations’.
Destinations and businesses all over the world were invited to submit their best practice stories from these subjects, and the best were chosen to present their cases. Attendees to the event will be able to join the live panels in any of the topics:
This theme will focus on overtourism and on how some destinations managed to face this issue, preparing a better future for all stakeholders involved.
Here, innovative projects will be presented regarding the creation of new green offer, either to attract other types of travellers or to deconcentrate the tourism activity in a specific place.
This theme will present various stories related to heritage, both built and intangible, and also about the influence that tourism has in some local communities.
Nature and Biodiversity will be the main topics of this theme, where protection of marine life is a hot sub-topic, but other aspects related to the fauna and flora are also presented.
On this panel, there will be a discussion on strategies on how to attract better travelers, more responsible and conscious with the impact they have on a destination, as well as there will be presented certain tools to promote a sustainable offer.
In this theme, several solutions will be presented to deal with the problem of carbon emissions and climate change. Soft mobility is one of the weapons utilized to solve this scourge.
This theme will be related to water and waste management, focusing on how to reduce the use of plastics. Examples of how to reduce plastics will be shown in different situations. This theme also includes a workshop on involving stakeholders for a circular economy.
Maribor – Pohorje Tourist Board is a Destination Management Organisation for Maribor, Slovenia. Karmen Razlag is Development and Project adviser in this organization. She is an expert in the development of the tourism products in the field of Sports and Recreation for Maribor-Pohorje tourist destination, specializing in hiking & biking products. She has good organisational and leadership skills gained through previous working experiences and in this organisation as a project leader. She is a local tour guide for the city of Maribor and Mountain biking guide. She is now head of marketing and promotion for Drava Bike Route.
The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) is a national tourist board that has developed the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST), a national certification programme that brings together all efforts directed towards the sustainable development of tourism in Slovenia, offers tools to destinations and service providers that enable them to evaluate and improve their sustainability endeavours and promotes these green endeavours through the Slovenia Green brand. The GSST won them the title of First Green Country in the world and is one of the developmental tools, helping to address challenges like tourism flow management for better planning of strategic (marketing) actions.
Karin Nilsson has a broad experience in the hospitality industry. She has worked with both incoming and outgoing tourism. Understanding small companies’ everyday lives in development processes comes from her own experience in commercial businesses. Karin also worked for several years as a travel producer but has for many years, chosen to focus on developing tourism in Sweden. She has a strong interest in the development of sustainable attractive places and how to create a sustainable place brand. Her interest in nature and outdoor activities gives a genuine commitment to the development of tourism in sensitive natural environments.
I am working in the tourism sector for 15 years. In Ljubljana Tourism I work in the tourism development sector as regional destination organization coordinator of Central Slovenia region. I am coordinating 25 municipalities around Ljubljana. We are developing and promoting tourism together to disperse Ljubljana’s visitors around the city. I am also the green coordinator of destination Ljubljana in Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism as we as GDS-Index.
Head of Green Infrastructure, with a degree in Landscape Architecture, he’s responsible for the ecological network masterplan, development of biodiversity action plans for different management areas, habitat and species management and survey, landscape planning and restoration project, special planning, and visitor experience programs. He is also responsible for environmental awareness and volunteers activates, mainly regarding nature conservation and environmental sustainability. He has been engaged with European institutions such as the Europcar Federation in the commission for sustainable agriculture in protected areas.
Mr. Delaunay Belleville has kickstarted or developed citizen mobilizations around waste issues. He created the anti-food-waste movement Disco Soupe that generated thousands of community buffets cooked out of food leftovers worldwide. Antoine works for Future of Waste a multi-stakeholder community that gather citizens, social entrepreneurs and organizations to find, support and create projects and solutions to better manage and transform waste. In 2018, Future of Waste community worked on waste in the event and tourism industry and launched the toolbox: tackling waste in tourism and events (https://futureofwaste.makesense.org/toolbox/).
Mr. Delaunay will host a workshop Involving stakeholders for circular economy as a part of the Water & Waste management theme, where he will present his Toolbox for tourism program.
Mrs. Kordić is a part of the Plastic Free Zlarin Initiative, dedicated to eliminating the use of single-use plastic on Zlarin, promoting composting and a low waste lifestyle. They wanted Zlarin™s path to becoming the first Croatian plastic-free island to inspire transition towards sustainable living in other communities. Mrs. Kordić is one of the co-founders of the initiative the idea of which was brought to Zlarin from France by her colleague Ana Robb, where Ana works on turning her kids™ school plastic-free. Mrs. Kordić spent her late teen years and all of her adult life working on social development and change making by building volunteering infrastructure in Croatia.
Mrs. Kordić will join us with her presentation: Zlarin – Croatia’s first Plastic Free Island as a part of our panel sessions on Water and Waste Management.
Mrs. Marković Vukadin is a science associate at the Institute for tourism, focuses on research from the area of sustainable tourism development . As an expert in sustainable tourism, she participated in a number of European projects concerning spatial development of tourism, as well as in a large number of Master plans of tourism development. She has vast experience in the development of indicators for the needs of CROSTO (Croatian sustainable tourism observatory – a part of the UNWTO network. She is a lecturer at VERN University, Edward Bernays University and at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Dental medicine. She has published more than scientific 20 papers focused on sustainability.
Mrs. Marković Vukadin will join us with her presentation Measuring tourism sustainability in practice, example of CroatiaInvolving stakeholders for circular economy
Mrs. Estaún has a degree in Environmental Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a full member of the Menorquin Institute of Studies. She has developed her entire professional career on the island of Menorca, developing different jobs most linked to the Menorca Island Council.
It highlights her work first as a communication manager for the LIFE project “Conservation of areas with threatened flora on the island of Menorca” and later as director of the LIFE BASSES and LIFE + RENEIX projects. Since 2015 she develops her professional activity as the Director of the Menorca Biosphere Reserve Agency.
Mrs. Estaún will join us with her panel presentation: