Slovenian bees circle the world
"All of the media attention paid to Slovenia due to World Bee Day is an invaluable contribution to the recognisability of our country as the initiator of this holiday and as a unique green, active, and healthy destination with excellent bee-keeping tourist features that could help position Slovenia as a destination for five-star experiences," says Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board.
The love of bees in green, active and healthy Slovenia dates far back into the past, and this passion has been passed from generation to generation for decades. Slovenia was the homeland of Anton Janša (1734-1773), a pioneer of modern beekeeping. Slovenian beekeepers celebrate the day of his birth, 20th May, and the Slovenian Beekeeper's Association have submitted an initiative for this day to be proclaimed as World Bee Day. On 20 December last year, the United Nations General Assembly in New York unanimously adopted the decision to proclaim 20 May World Bee Day.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
The main purpose of World Bee Day is to have at least one day devoted to raising awareness around the world about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the profession, policymakers, industry and the general public to address the challenges facing bee conservation, and to outline specific activities to ensure their survival.
The Slovenian Tourist Board highlights the topic of bee-keeping at its business events and on its social media, on the website www.slovenia.info, in press releases, various publications, etc. Last year, for example, it caused excitement over bee-keeping tourism, which is considered a very sought-after niche segment of tourism in the British market, by having a stand at the global WTM London trade show, at which a replica of Janša's apiary with beehive panels and the meaningful slogan Be(e) Responsible was set up.
Work with foreign media and social media influencers is also an important part of the promotion of Slovenian tourism. With the expert support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and the Government Communication Office, the Slovenian Tourist Board marked World Bee Day by organising an excursion for ten participants from globally influential media companies, such as BBC Wildlife, National Geographic Russia, The Independent, Air Canada enRoute, TRAVELBOOK Magazine, and the Reuters press agency. On this occasion, Reuters carried out various interviews and recorded footage of honey-making procedures, colourful apiaries, the landscape, and features of bee-keeping tourism for a report in which it emphasised our efforts to conserve bees and other pollinators, our commitment to sustainable development, and a rich bee-keeping tradition. It highlighted that Slovenia was the only EU Member State to protect a native bee variety, namely the Carniolan honeybee. Reuters showed Slovenia as an interesting and unique green destination, in which visitors can have boutique experiences. This message was summarised by 33 TV networks, which broadcast on different continents, and online media outlets.
First World Bee Day Celebration, (Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA)
Monitoring online publications using the mediatoolkit tool showed that, between 22 April and 22 May, there were nearly 10,000 pieces of online content related to World Bee Day; they reached more than 49 million people around the world. Posts on the social media pages of the Slovenian Tourist Board related to the observance of World Bee Day in Slovenia and highlighting Slovenia as its initiator and a green, active, and healthy tourist destination reached at least 500,000 followers.