Dr. Aleš Gacnik

Head of Department of Cultural Tourism and Cultural Heritage – University of Primorska –
Head of the Centre of gastronomy and wine culture – University of Primorska

Dr. Ales Gacnik is an enthnologist and sociologist of culture. He is assistant professor, and Head of the Department of Cultural Tourism and Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of tourism studies Touristica at the University of Primorska, Slovenia and a a representative of the University at UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, Chair ‘Culture, Tourism, Development’.
In his professional work he plays various roles such as:
– museum curator and head of ethnological department in regional museum
– researcher, developer and director of interdisciplinary research institute and regional development agency,
– entrepreneur (owner and director of company Heritage factory/Park hotel Ptuj) and publisher
– professor at various faculties

His research work is focused on a ride range of topics in the filed of protection, research, communication and development of heritage and culture. His bibliography includes more than 540 units, with numerous publications in scientific and professional papers in domestic and international journals in the field of cultural heritage, tourism and development. He actively participated in more than 80 projects in the field of cultural heritage, tourism and regional development and is (co)author of more than 20 museums and gallery exhibitions and museological projects. During the management of a small, boutique art and heritage hotel, he organized around 130 events related to the heritage, art and culture of wine.

As a researcher, developer and professor he explore the culinary and wine culture, wine and gastronomy tourism, inventions and innovations in the field of heritage and cultural tourism. His favorites research and developmental topics are:
– Museology – phenomenon of collecting, exhibitions, museums, galleries…
– Masks and carnivals in Europe
– Heritage, tourism and development (creativity and innovation in the field of heritage and culture)
– Heritage and cultural tourism
– Art and heritage events and festivals
– Boutique, art and heritage hotels
– Wine culture and wine tourism
– Culinary culture and culinary tourism
– Protected agricultural products and foodstaffs
– Food and wine events and festivals
– Gastronomy tourism

He is member (former or active) of various national and international associations and clubs.
In connection with cultural heritage:
– Slovenian Ethnological Society (president)
– UNESCO/ICOM – ICOFOM, ICME
– Federation of European Carnival Cities

In connection with humanitarian activities:
– Lions Clubs International – District 129 Slovenia (former)
– Order of St. George – A European Order of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine

In connection with gastronomy and tourism
– Word Federation of Travel Journalist and Writers (FIJET)
– Society for the Recognition of Sautéed Potato and Onions as an Independent Dish
– Honorable wine convent of St. Urbanus
– International gastronomic association Chaine des Rotisseurs (1248-1950)

Receiver of several national and international awards:
– 1993: I collect, therefore I am/On the phenomenon of collecting and private collectors – Matija Murjo award of Slovene ethnological society.
– 2000: “Ptuj – the city at the crossroads of European civilization” (“Ptuj – City on the Crossing of European Culture”) – International Competition organized by IFPRA along UNEP.
– 2002: Cultural and Information Center for Carinthia – 2 places for the project in the competition for the renovation of library
– 2009: Craftattract project – Traditional crafts, new attractions for cultural tourism – Croatian Museums Award for the best international project
– 2009: WIne Culture in Slovenian – Award of the International Office of Wine (OIV)
– 2009: Samaritan – 39th Prize International design competition “Creativity Annual Awards”
– 2009: Park hotel Ptuj, hotel without walls – Finalist Sower 2009 for creative and innovative projects in tourism
– 2010: Jubilee medal FECC (Federation of European Carnival Cities)
– 2010: Craftattract project – Traditional crafts, new attractions for cultural tourism – Award of European Heritage Association and Certificate of membership in ‘Excellence Club’
– 2013: A great contribution towards achieving the mission of ZOTK on the field of youth research work – Silver Award from Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia.