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First Base is the equivalent of an 'Editorial'. It is the opportunity for S & A to provide comment and provoke discussion on topical issues relating to leisure and tourism. This will be provided each month and we would welcome your feedback on the matters raised.

First Base 27: “Excuse Me While I Touch the Sky”

Date: 31/8/2004

A Jimi Hendrix lyric … it is also a phrase used in the official interpretive presentation for the Triglav National Park in Slovenia.

Triglav is part of the Julian Alps on the southern fringe of the main Alpine Massif. This National Park has some of the most inspiring and dramatic of all Alpine landscapes. It is a major brand and tourism resource in Slovenia … and therein lies a major area of debate and discussion between the tourism interests (especially in the resort centres of Bled, Kranjska Gora and Bohinj) and the National Park Authority.

Essentially Triglav is managed as a wilderness experience. In terms of strategic tourism planning, much of the infrastructure is, and can be, located in communities outwith the National Park, such as Bled. Increasingly, however, there is growing pressure to enhance the tourism ‘product’ within the Park.

This is both undesirable and ill considered. Triglav National Park can and should be an icon for sustainable tourism development in Slovenia. Those responsible for tourism development in this wonderful country should build this into their overall strategy. Triglav is too important to risk. It is a special place where, in the words of Van Morrison …

“You gave me pictures in the gallery
You gave me novels on the shelf
You gave me ways and means and emotions
You gave me knowledge of myself”

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