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.
Small, magical, hidden gem vs unnoticed, uninteresting and untouristy
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.
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