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Slovenia Attracts a New Generation of Tourism Leaders

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The Young Bled Strategic Forum, organized at Ljubljana and Bled took place August 25-28.

40 young leaders from 5 continents and experts from public administration, academia, private sector, media, civil society, and youth organizations. met for the three-day training and discussions working towards solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time.

The 12th edition of the Young Bled Strategic Forum implemented under the title Mitigating our Butterfly Effect celebrates the power of every individual and stakeholder to contribute their knowledge, expertise, and inspiration to positive change within communities on the local, regional, and international levels.

Active citizenship and solidarity are not virtues that can be measured in quality or quantity, as every action can hold the momentum to cause or prevent a storm in other parts of the world.

The event was set to draw a distinguished lineup of guests, all converging to participate in meaningful discussions and exchanges with youth including a special one-on-one talk with H. E. Ms. Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia

This exchange touched upon the pivotal role of young individuals in shaping the society of today and tomorrow, Slovenia’s tenure on the UN Security Council, feminist foreign policy, and the demonstration of solidarity in response to this year’s devastating local floods.

The Young Bled Strategic Forum was supported by the Central European Initiative, the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana grant, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung think tank, implemented within the activities of the Slovenian Presidency to the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region and supported as part of the Priority Area 10 Institutional Capacity and Cooperation, an Interreg Danube Region Programme project co-funded by the European Union.

The Bled Strategic Forum International Conference is the leading conference in Central and South-Eastern Europe. 

Maja Pak, the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board attended and said:

It was an absolute pleasure to be part of the stimulating conversations on the 9th Tourism panel at the Bled Strategic Forum 2023. The dialogue highlighted the meaning of knowledge society and tourism professions of the future, bringing innovative perspectives and pathways to the fore.

Some key takeaways resonated the most:

  • We must prioritize the sector’s image and appeal to attract talent and new-gen professionals.
  • Leveraging tech and digital tools can help us create a more holistic approach to work.
  • There is a clear need for a collaborative environment among all stakeholders.
  • Tourism education must evolve to meet the needs of the industry.
  • Enormous opportunities exist in promoting and enabling lifelong learning.

She summarized: “Let me re-emphasize that we must position the people at the center of the sustainability model if we want a long-term thriving tourism industry.

I thank the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism, and Sport, all distinguished panelists and participants for creating such a meaningful dialogue!

About the author


Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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