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Slovakia in pictures and stories (video included)ADVERTORIAL
5 Oct 2012 Tourism
Slovakia is still, for many foreigners, hidden in the middle; however the 17th edition of the annual Spectacular Slovakia travel guide will help travellers to discover the country over the course of 2012 and 2013. It presents well and less-known tourist destinations in Slovakia, enriched by the experience of both national and foreign writers. The full colour 200-page publication was officially launched on World Tourism Day (September 27).
This year’s edition also contains an exclusive 24-page photo-story entitled “ Hidden in the Middle ” by Chris Steele-Perkins – member of the prestigious photographic agency Magnum Photos and holder of several international awards. Mr. Steele-Perkins, a British photographer of world renown, can through his lens - usually in a single shot - capture more vitality, mystery and depth than could be contained in thousands of words. This famous photographer wasn’t visiting Slovakia for the first time – he had the opportunity to get acquainted with our country in 2004, when he took photographs for a project mapping the 10 new countries of the European Union. Perkins said: “Some things had changed: there were whole new parts to Bratislava, but culturally, in the large sense of the word, it remained the same”.
The authors of this year’s Spectacular Slovakia have chosen a new approach to guide readers around the country’s most interesting tourist sites: rather than follow the official administrative divisions of Slovakia they have created 18 tourism “hubs” or bases. These each have considerable tourism potential, featuring various spas, wellness centres, golf courses, and other tourist attractions. Traditionally, the publication contains contact details for a wide range of touristic attractions and offers all the information necessary to discover Slovakia.
The publication for season 2012/2013 was created by a team of 31 authors, 14 of whom are journalism students. The students’ participation was based on a joint educational project by The Slovak Spectator and the Department of Journalism of Comenius University - “Get trained and then get published”. The project was held for the second time and consisted of training and fieldwork for students under the supervision of experts and foreign editor Howard Swains. The project participants travelled to Slovakia’s regions to prepare, under the supervision of editors, a detailed view of our country based on interviews with locals and foreigners living in Slovakia. Together young journalists created more than half of this year’s Spectacular Slovakia. The whole project was made possible also thanks to the support of Orange Slovakia. The Pontis Foundation awarded the publisher of The Slovak Spectator, The Rock s.r.o., its Award for Socially Responsible Market Operations at the 12th year of the prestigious Via Bona Slovakia Awards, for the pilot project implemented in 2011.
The publisher of the 17th edition of Spectacular Slovakia was Ján Pallo, and the editorial team was led by editor-in-chief Beata Balogová. British journalist Howard Swains edited all the prepared materials. Together with Swains and the photographer Steele-Perkins, an American couple, Donald and Pat Stoll, contributed to the new travel guide. They share their experiences of visiting spas and golf resorts, as well as some other touristic destinations. They found Slovakia largely undiscovered by non-Europeans, which is OK from the more selfish traveller’s point of view, but they added: “Still, we think the country needs to blow its own horn just a little bit louder”.
Another American, Jeff Whiteaker, who has been living in Slovakia for several months, shares his perceptions of Bratislava and thus offers the possibility to see the Slovak capital through the eyes of a foreigner who would like to call the place home.
The Spectacular Slovakia 2012/2013 can be purchased directly in the reception of Petit Press at Lazaretská 12 in Bratislava, online at spectator.sk or martinus.sk; from the bookstores Panta Rhei, Eurobooks and Megabooks; and at selected newsstands and Interpress shops selling foreign-language literature around Slovakia. All subscribers to The Slovak Spectator weekly will receive a free copy as part of their subscription. Older editions of Spectacular Slovakia can be viewed at the website www.travel.spectator.sk , where online versions of the publications are available. Beside destination descriptions and original photography, the foreign journalists who wrote the previous editions also convey their experiences and practical observations from their travels across Slovakia.
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