What are you looking to promote at WTM London this year?
Positioned at the intersection of different worlds – Mediterranean, Alpine, Karst and Pannonian – Slovenia has a unique geographical location. More than 60% of its surface is covered with the forests, so the green colour defines its character. Slovenia is committed to the sustainable development and its efforts were awarded in different ways. Slovenia was proclaimed the World’s First Green Country by the Green Destinations’ international standards in 2016 and it has won the National Geographic World Legacy Destination Leadership Award in 2017.
Because of its green, active, healthy character, Slovenia is also one of the beekeeping cradles in Europe. The inspiration for different innovations in beekeeping tradition and one of the key factors in biodiversity preservation is the Carniolan honey bee, the native Slovenian bee. It is one of the most popular bees in the world and source for innovative and certified apitourism. Slovenian tourism will be presented in WTM London through this unique, healthy and very customise form of tourism.
In Slovenia, nature and creativity are strongly connected for centuries. The artistic sense of Slovenians is seen in beekeeping, too, through the fine decorations of the apiaries. But the love for artistic expression can be sensed through the whole country, for thousands of years and in every season. Slovenia is home of the oldest instrument in the world – the 60.000 years old Neanderthal flute – and of the oldest, 5200 years old wooden wheel. Many remains of the past that can be experienced in the museums or on-site, too. Together with hundreds of castles and galleries, they take the visitors to the journey through the turbulent history of the land that has been crossed by different people and legendary names. Past and present are intertwined in the contemporary art and culture that can be experienced through many festivals and other events, dispersed through the country and the whole year. In every season and in different angles of Slovenia, the visitors can experience its amazing cultural diversity and different kinds of artistic production.
In connection to the natural beauties and top gastronomy, the culture makes the Slovenian tourist offer unique.
What products are Slovenia showcasing at WTM London?
Cultural tourism and apitourism.
What differentiates Slovenia from other destinations?
Slovenia is the only country in the world to unite Mediterranean, Alpine, Karst and Pannonian worlds. They are easily and quickly access and their tourist products and offers are very well developed. All the four worlds are connected with amazing green nature.
Slovenia is one of the greenest countries in the world and that fact is appreciated very much by Slovenians. They cherish the unspoiled nature and they put many efforts to keep it so for the future, too. The decision for sustainable development of the Slovenian tourism was recognised as the only way of its development and this is the distinctive advantage of Slovenia.
Green, active, healthy is not just a slogan or promise but it reflects the reality in the Slovenian tourism where different products and experiences were developed in sustainable way.
Slovenia has never developed the mass tourism because the importance of individual, unique experiences has always been understood and respected as the key factor in tourism. The service and program providers are focusing on creating and assuring the high-added value products. Across the country, different creative accommodations were opened and authentic products were designed in order to ensure the promise of 5-star experience in Slovenia.
How many tourists visit Slovenia annually?
In 2016, there were 4.3 millions of tourists’ arrivals and almost 11.2 millions of overnight stays in Slovenia.
What are the most popular attractions/cities/resorts?
The most popular places are coastal Piran, alpine Bled, Kranjska Gora and Bohinj, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. One of the top attraction is Postojna cave, which is the most visited tourist cave in Europe. And one of the most popular activities is pampering in one of the 14 Slovenian natural thermal spa centres (for example Moravske Toplice).
How many people visit these annually?
In 2016, more than half of all the overnight stays were realised in the above mentioned destinations – Piran, Ljubljana, Bled, Kranjska Gora, Moravske Toplice, Bohinj. The Postojna cave had 689.608 visitors.
What are the tourism targets for the future?
Slovenian tourism has been very successful in the past years. But we are very much aware that we are facing many new challenges. According to the 2017–2021 Strategy for the Sustainable Growth of Slovenian Tourism, we need to work on strategic and operational destination management, development of the high-end products, prolongation of the touristic season through the whole year, geographic dispersion of the tourists, tourist experience management. As one of the main promotional topic, the cultural tourism will be particularly highlighted together with the convention, spa and sports tourism in the next two years.
The focus will be on increasing Slovenia’s recognisability as the green global destination for demanding visitors, seeking for diverse and active experiences, peace and personal benefits and on promoting the development of sustainable tourism.
Are there any new hotels opening in Slovenia in 2017 or 2018?
- 5-star InterContinental Hotel in Ljubljana, the Slovenia’s capital
- 5-star Atlantida Boutique Hotel in Rogaška Slatina, one of the medical, spa and wellness centres in Slovenia
- Glamping Olimia Adria Village in Podčetrtek as a part of the Terme Olimia natural thermal spa centre
- 4-star Hotel Jama next to the Postojna Cave
- The luxurious Cubo Village will be opened in 2018 in Smlednik, close to the Diners Golf Course
What are the key geographical markets you are focusing on?
- Key markets: Austria, Germany, Italy, UK, France, Russian Federation
- Growing markets: Benelux, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia
- Overseas markets: USA, Gulf Cooperation Council members, Israel, China, South Korea
Msc. Maja Pak – Director General of the Slovenian Tourist Board
As Director General of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak is in charge of the management of business and human resources policy. She prepares the STB’s annual programme of work, the annual report and the medium-term marketing plan for Slovenian tourism. Ms Pak has over 20 years’ experience in tourism.
Find the Slovenian Tourist Board EU700 exhibiting at WTM London.