December 20, 2017
Zdravko Pocivalsek, the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, held a news conference yesterday to release the latest statistics on the economic impact of tourism, with the headline figures being a 9% rise in expected revenues from foreign tourists in 2017, and an increase of at least 5% forecast for the coming year. This represents the fourth year in a row of strong growth, with foreign tourists contributing revenues of 2.3 billion EUR for 2016, no sum small sum in a GDP of 40.18 billion EUR for the same year.
Zdravko Pocivalsek, the Minister of Economic Development and Technology. Photo. Vlada.si
Speaking at the same event, and as reported by Reuters, Maja Pak, director of the Slovenian Tourist Organisation (STO), attributed the strong numbers to, among other things, the successful promotion of Slovenia as a safe, green country, and the attention that Melania Trump has brought to the nation. The effect of the latter can perhaps be seen in the very strong growth in visitors from the US, rising a remarkable 23.4% in the first three quarters of 2017, compared to an almost 17% rise in overall foreign tourist numbers for the first 10 months of the year.
Digging a little deeper into the figures, the first ten months of the year saw more than 4.2 million tourist arrivals, with almost 10.8 million overnight stays, both higher than the total for 2016. Počivalšek, the Minister for Economic Development, noted that some of this growth was due to generally higher tourist numbers seen around Europe, but emphasized the contributions made by the government’s tourism strategy, with the promotion of high-quality, active and green experiences that make us of Slovenia’s natural advantages. The Minister also said that the government would be moving ahead with plans to privatise more of the tourist infrastructure in the country, with around 40% of hotels still under state-ownership.
Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Organisation. Photo: Slovenia.info
Maja Pak, head of the STO, laid out some ambitious plans for the year ahead, to increase investment in the tourism sector, and continue to promote the nation as a green, boutique destination. Pak stated that an important next step in this process was the “deseasonalisation” of the tourism market, which currently sees two distinct peaks, in August and December.
More details, in Slovenian, can be found on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology..