STA, 14 January 2019 - Slovenia is not perceived as a destination with offerings for discerning guests willing to pay more. This follows from an analysis of online communication conducted by the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO).
The STO has analysed online opinions, questions and demand by travellers and tourists in Slovenia's target markets Austria, Germany, Italy, the UK, France, Switzerland and Benelux countries.
"Based on the latest research we find that Slovenia is perceived as a destination different from mass tourism but not as a destination with offerings for discerning guests or a destination where visitors are willing to pay more, nor even as a destination offering unique accommodation or experiences, which is the biggest challenge of Slovenian tourism," STO said.
The analysis found that destinations regularly perceived as "boutique" by online users are Paris, Venice, Italy, Greece and far-away islands and countries.
Slovenia is mentioned as such only in editorials or specialised articles, while users only rarely associate elements of exclusivity with the country.
When they do, the expressions they use are small, magical nature and a hidden gem. Suggestions of perception of exclusivity also appear in connection with the country's cuisine or glamping.
The users also mentioned some unique Slovenian sights such as the Postojna Cave.
On the down side, Slovenia is labelled as unnoticeable, overlooked, uninteresting until experienced and untouristy. Also mentioned was a mix of different styles and inconsistency of offerings.
Positive impressions refer to the quiet, beauty of nature and accessible prices, while negative ones mention crowds in some destinations and underdeveloped tourism such as in the fields of infrastructure or a lack of museums outside Ljubljana.
The most common key words associated with Slovenia are Bled and nature. The lakeside town is so popular that some tourists know Bled while they do not know the country it is located in.
Visitors most often recommend visiting the western part of the Alpine macro-destination. including Bled, Bohinj, and the Soča Valley, Postojna Cave, Ljubljana and Piran. They are disappointed by Portorož, Celje, Škofja Loka and Maribor.
The food is deemed as satisfactory with some above-average exceptions, while accommodation is perceived as not luxurious.
The most exceptional experiences associated with Slovenia are canyoning, visiting a vineyard, visiting caves, paragliding, cooking classes and food tours.
All our stories tagged tourism can be found here
There’s perhaps no phrase more ripe for retirement in writing about Slovenia than “hidden gem”, especially when it comes to the places that are usually mentioned in travel articles introducing the sunny side of the Alps to a wider audience. Many of these simply detail already well-visited locations, like Ljubljana’s Old Town, Bled, Piran, Postojna, and so on, with many of the, eh, more obscure jewels remaining unpromoted.
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And of course, this focus on a few places means that these get put on the must-do itineraries of many visitors – for what’s a two-day trip to Slovenia without kremšnita and a hike to that bench? – and this, if nothing else, creates some logistical problems with regard to parking, overcrowding and so on, not to mention “ruining” the places for some, including local residents with no direct interest in the tourist industry.
To this end the Slovenian Tourist Board, among others, has been working to promote some of the less-trafficked locations in the country, aiming to spread the prosperity that can come with travel and tourism, extend the stays of visitors (which are still, on average, less than two days), and show more of what makes the young nation such a pleasant one, and perhaps encourage more folk to relocate or invest here.
One organisation that’s also working in this regard is the national broadcaster Radio SI, which just announced the winners of its hidden gems competition. The final list, obtained after a selection of options was put to a vote, draws more attention to 18 tourist packages and products that aim to show off the diversity and wealth of Slovenia’s of natural and cultural heritage, from historic sites to gourmet experiences, hiking tours to craft beer adventures.
The list of 18 recommendations is presented below, with a link to the main webpage at the end, while simply clicking on the name will tell you more about each offer.
13: Idrija Adventure
The full story on Radio SI can be found here
STA, 11 December 2018 - Slovenia expects to record more than 5.6 million tourist arrivals and more than 15.2 million tourist nights by the end of 2018, in what will be yet another record year. Tourism revenue is also growing, up by almost 12% to EUR 2.12m in the first nine months of the year at annual level.
"That 2018 will be a new record year is already clear. The number of tourist nights from 2017 was exceeded as early as the end of October," Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said at a news conference in Ljubljana on Tuesday.
He attributed the good results to cooperation. "Measures by the ministry and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) have not been that well harmonised in a long time, tourism companies and destinations have not been that responsive and creative in a long time."
This year's promotion has been largely based on culture, which will also be the case in 2019. STO director Maja Pak said 2018 was one of the most intensive and successful in terms of marketing.
She is also happy with the media attention abroad, stressing Slovenia had been regularly making it to lists of recommended destinations. "Slovenia is not only a recognisable destination, it is now a trendy destination."
Minister Počivalšek (@PocivalsekZ): Turizem je ena najbolj interdisciplinarnih in multiplikativnih dejavnosti, ki je tesno povezana tudi s kulturo.— Slovenia Tourism (@tourism_slo) December 11, 2018
?3 ključna področja za #aktivirajmovrednost➡️
?prenova zakonodaje pic.twitter.com/TZsW3rUyJP
Looking ahead, the STO said it would be all about gastronomy in 2020 and 2021 as Slovenia had been chosen the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 and influential French restaurant guide Gault & Millau published a Slovenian edition of its high-profile restaurant guide.
The minister announced his ministry will be working on three priorities next year: restructuring of state-owned tourism companies, a loan scheme worth EUR 160m and legislation simplification.
Počivalšek insists on the restructuring in line with the national asset management strategy, which envisages bringing all the companies under the roof of Slovenian Sovereign Holding, improving their management to secure a higher added value and then privatising them.
Noting "things were going in the desired direction", he is convinced the project will be successfully carried out, including the privatisation already under this government.
He insists the companies must be sold to good owners with a development vision.
"In all sectors, I promote prudent privatisation to the benefit of a company which is on sale, to the benefit of Slovenia, not to the benefit of the seller."
The minister is open as to who the new owners would be, saying the hotels could be sold to domestic or foreign companies, or to asset management funds.
Počivalšek also said there was a lot of interest in the loan scheme, so he believes the funds will be well used to increase the number of accommodation facilities.
State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar said the ministry would continue to simplify legislation, taking on the hospitality law and the law on mountain guides.
Related: All our stories tagged “tourism” are here
STA, 9 December 2018 - The lakeside town of Bled, one of Slovenia's top tourism destinations, is set to see another boom year in tourism, having broken last year's record as early as October this year.
Visitors to the Alpine resort have spent over one million nights in one of its accommodation facilities in the first ten months of the year after the one millionth mark was broken for the first time ever at the end of last year.
It was British visitors who spent most nights at Bled (177,000), followed by Germans (92,000) and visitors from the United States (67,000) and Italy (65,000).
Since many Italians tend to spend their Christmas and New Year holidays in Bled, the local tourism board expects they will overtake the Americans as the third largest group of visitors in terms of nights.
Tourism statistics are expected to improve further because Bled has also attracted many of the biathlon fans and athletes competing at the Biathlon World Cup opener on Pokljuka just above Bled this week.
Photo: Screenshot of Google Image Search
STA, 5 November2018 - With the United Kingdom being one of the key markets for Slovenian tourism, some 35 Slovenian companies and organisations are being promoted at London's WTM, a leading global event for the travel industry, which runs from Monday to Wednesday.
We are delighted to announce the iconic #Ljubljana Castle is our official #WTMLDN partner.— Slovenia Tourism (@tourism_slo) November 5, 2018
The partnership is part of helping preserve the historic @Ljubljanskigrad, which has provided panoramic views of the city for 900 years.
⤵️Visit Stand EU1400 to learn more ? @WTM_London pic.twitter.com/Y9yHLlFFKq
Slovenia is being promoted under the auspices of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) as an attractive destination offering "five-star experiences".
A special emphasis is placed on culture, which is the main theme of the STO's promotional campaigns in 2018 and 2019.
The country's exhibition area, spreading on more than 175 square metres, features Ljubljana Castle as the main partner.
On Tuesday, the Slovenian pavilion will feature a meeting of Slovenian tourism industry representatives with British and global tour organisers plus global media.
Slovenian food will be served by chef Igor Jagodic and the author of the best article on Slovenia written this year will be declared.
STO director Maja Pak says that "as as one of the most important and globally recognisable fairs, the WTM is a unique opportunity to consolidate the existing and create new business opportunities as well as to connect with the tourism industry in the UK and wider."
Slovenia is recording a rise in arrivals and overnight stays by British tourists, according to Pak, who said that a 27% increase in arrivals was reported for the January-to-August period compared to last year.
In 2017, British tourists accounted for 370,000 nights in Slovenia, whose tourist industry has posted strong growth over the past few years. They are mostly interested in the country's mountains, cuisine, ski resorts and culture.
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STA, 1 October 2018 - New rules governing tourist accommodation facilities in Slovenia took effect on Monday, introducing internationally-comparable Hotelstars standards and giving accommodation owners six months to adjust.
STA, 1 October 2018 - The Financial Administration (FURS), which announced stepped up measures targeting a surge in undeclared vacation rentals at the end of last year, issued a total of EUR 237,000 in fines and charged EUR 230,000 in additional tax by the end of August.
STA, 20 September 2018 - Participants of a three-day meeting of ministers and state secretaries from China and Central and Eastern European countries, including Economy Ministry State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar, agreed that the Chinese tourism market was very important for CE Europe, including Slovenia.
STA, 11 September 2018 - The future of tourism, Tourism 4.0, will be created using high-performing computers, believes Tomi Ilijaš, the founder and CEO of Arctur, a leading high performance computer provider in Central and Eastern Europe. The tourism of the future must be a driving force of positive change, panellists at the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) agreed on Tuesday.