STA, 4 March - Tourism officials in the regions bordering Italy are not yet reporting a decline in visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, a major market for Slovenian tourism. The coastal community of Piran has even seen more visitors than in the same period a year ago.
The tourism association at the seaside of Portorož recorded a slight drop in the number of overnight stays at hotels, which they say was mainly due to the fact that two major hotels are closed for renovation.
Most other hotels in the Piran municipality, which also includes Portorož, saw visitor numbers in February trumping those recorded the same month a year ago. "We've seen growth mainly due to foreign visitors, who generated a good fifth more overnight stays in February than last year," they say.
The Portorož tourism association is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation, following the advice of the National Public Health Institute and the Slovenian Tourist Board, and notifying its visitors in turn.
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"Our hotels are well prepared too, keeping their guests up to date on the developments, making sure the premises are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, while the staff have attended training on preventive measures," the tourism association said.
Similarly, tourism officials in the port town of Koper have not noticed any particular effect of the coronavirus outbreak. February statistics are not yet in but the local tourism info point has not yet recorded a decline in footfall.
Nor has a fall been observed at the tourism centres in the Soča Valley, although the main tourism season there is yet to begin.
Restaurants along Slovenia's western border are not reporting a drop in turnout by Italian or other foreign customers either, but they are cautious about any projections and further developments.
Shaded countries had at least one confirmed case of coronoavirus as of 3 March 2020. WHO data, map US CDC - details
Gostilna pri Lojzetu, the award-winning establishment at Zemono Mansion, has had some cancellations from Italian and some other patrons who travelled through Venice airport, "but merely as a preventive measure because they wouldn't want to 'infect' any of our guests, even though they were not infected".
However, the restaurant does not expect any difficulties in the future. "We'll always have the restaurant full, it will definitely stay that way," they say.
The Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) last week called for state aid arguing that the hospitality sector in the Nova Gorica area had been seeing a "drastic decline" in Italian customers.
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