Tourism in Slovenia Is a Successful and Growing Sector of the Economy
“Over the past 25 years, Slovenian tourism has been developing rapidly. The revenues from travel tour exports have tripled. However, the path to this result was thorny,” the Minister of Economic Development and Technologies Zdravko Počivalšek said.
In addition, Slovenia had to overcome many challenges, such as restructuring the tourism sector, privatising the hotel sector, repairing and modernizing the existing infrastructure, establishing new travel agencies, and coordinating route organizers as well as ensuring maximum openness to the foreign markets. “Since at that time Slovenia was not very attractive to foreign investors, we did provide a source of financing ourselves with the help of European funds,” Zdravko Počivalšek says.
Since 2004, the Slovenian tourist economy has been evolving in the direction of investments in hotel infrastructure. The relevant ministry together with its partners funded 135 projects worth 168 million euros until the end of 2015. The total cost of these projects amounted to 657 million euros.
The next milestone in the development of Slovenian tourism, according to Zdravko Počivalšek, was in 2012, when all partners committed themselves to developing sustainable tourism. The independence of STB (the Slovenian Tourist Board) and a substantial increase in funds for advertising Slovenia abroad became another important positive factor of the tourism industry growth. According to the Minister, improving the business microclimate within the Slovenian tourist economy is of weighty significance for today. Only in this case it is possible to achieve the set goal — 3 billion euros in revenue each year from the foreign tourism.
According to the Director General of the Department of Tourism and Internationalization Eva Štravs Podlogar, the cooperation and integration are the fundamentals of the Slovenian tourism. A new law on the promotion of tourism growth (Zakon o spodbujanju razvoja turizma) is under development. It involves the assessment of the conditions for the optimum development of this sector, including a new source of funding the STB activities in marketing and promotion of the Slovenian tourist offer in foreign markets.
Next year, the implementation of the new Strategy for Sustainable Development of Slovenian Tourism for 2017–2021 will be launched concurrently, which will be under active development in the second half of this year.
The STB Director Maja Pak noted that placing Slovenia among the oases of tourism industry has been a special challenge. According to her, “Slovenia managed to achieve the current results only thanks to the hard work in the field of marketing, clear objectives and priorities, provision of interesting products, and focus on sustainable tourism.”