Tourism in the Valley of the Soča River: Problems and Prospects
“We will need to sell our experience, our traditions and culture—those things that are in demand at all times. The tourist offer should remain profitable all year round. Besides, we need to invest in infrastructure and real estate,” the Minister of Economy Zdravko Počivalšek said at a visiting session of the Slovenian Government in the north of Slovene Littoral. During the discussion, they started talking about the prospects of tourism development in the Soča Valley and the development of tourism in Slovenia as a whole. Zdravko Počivalšek noted that in the next four years, it would be necessary to build at least 10 four-star hotels in Slovenia.
Array of New Laws
According to the Minister of Economy, the tour operators of Slovenia may expect a number of innovations already in this year. Zdravko Počivalšek emphasized a special importance of the Law on Stimulation of Tourism Development, the Law on the Industry of Hospitality, the Law on the Stud Farm in Lipica (Kobilarna Lipica) and the provisions on the classification of living accommodations and minimum technical requirements thereto.
In the coming months, this legislative package will allow an increase in the tourist tax, part of the proceeds from which will go to fund the promotion of tourist offer in Slovenia and abroad. Panellists agreed noting, in turn, the need for control over the targeted use of the received funds.
30 Million Euros for Highways
The Prime Minister of Slovenia Miro Cerar said that in the coming years, the tourism infrastructure in the region would be built and upgraded. 30 million euros will be spent on the repair of highways.
Cerar said that security within the country was important for the development of the industry as well as a growing number of proposals for the active rest of foreign tourists, cultural events, national cuisine and presence of “boutique” tourism centres.
The Soča Valley meets all these requirements. This is evidenced by the growth of the region’s traffic. Only for 2016, a number of overnight stays and the volume of revenues from the tourism industry grew by 15%. Despite an increase in the number of overnight stays and the development of tourism infrastructure, the shortage of large hotel operators is felt in Bovec.
Janko Humar, the director of the regional tourism organization Bovec, voiced to the Government representatives a number of bureaucratic obstacles, or “nonsenses” as he called them, such as the mandatory registration of kayaks and SUP boards, a ban on mountain biking in the Triglav National Park, a ban on skiing outside the official routes, etc.