LIFE`s Thematic Weekend Activities 2020: pleasant, educational and relaxing
The end of September also means the end of LIFE’s Thematic Weekend Activities in Notranjska RE+egional Park. This year, the park carried out these outdoor activities for the sixth time in a row, for the second time as part of the LIFE Stržen project, which provided us free with guides. The key goal of these organized activities is to help design guided tour programs for local tour guides and other local tourism providers.
The results of this year’s guided activities are excellent, despite the fact that the number of participants was limited to only 20, due to the epidemiological situation in the country. We had to repeat some activities several times, even doubling the groups (each had its own guide) and the smaller number of visitors proved to be a good thing also because of the better and less inclined experience for the visitors. This year, the guided tours contents were refreshed, updated and assigned a regular schedule.
The most popular was the canoe trip through the romantic and tragical legend about the creation of Lake Cerknica, with the excellent Miha Razdrih, which we therefore repeated as many as seven times. Visitors were also very happy to come for guided tours of Rakov Škocjan – we therefore organized these as many as 4-times. Ornithological excursions with the exceptional bird connoisseur Eva Vukelič were also popular. The families were very impressed by the Hidden Treasure Hunt activity. The participants had to find the treasure, hidden in the forest by Jezerko and first had to solve a few puzzles. Great fun for families with kids! Visitors also liked to come for ethno-botanical walks with biologist Marko Cvetko, learn about the skills of survival in nature with the master of survival Laris Žurga, and park biologist Jošt Stergaršek impressed the participants with his knowledge of flora and fauna of Lake Cerknica.
All events were complemented by the inclusion of other local tourist providers: ride with old hay carriages (Tourist farm Levar and Kontrabantar), local housewife Lili Mahne prepared delicious snacks from wild plants for the participants, and the agency Tur servis made sure we always had enough canoes available for the lake trips.
Thematic Weekend Activities were organized every Saturday and Sunday between May 30th and September 30th. They have attracted a total of 667 visitors, who indulged in attractive experiences in the park area in 36 different guided activities. Compared to the year of 2019, we recorded a 77% increase in visitors to the guided tour, which makes the 2020 season, despite the epidemic, an extremely successful one. We also checked the satisfaction of the participants with guided tours and as many as 93% of them were very satisfied with the activities. Most of them described thematic weekends with the adjectives pleasant (87%), informative (79%) and relaxing (75%). They found the guides professional (68%), clear and vivid (65%). During guided tours, most visitors expect a pleasant atmosphere (73%), but the quality of the content and the fact that the activity is in the middle of an idyllic nature also means a lot to them.
Next year, from April onwards, follows a new season of Thematic Weekend Activities – even better and even more interesting, with refreshed and additional activities. And with the help of the LIFE Stržen project, of course.