In the first two months of 2009, there were 3 percent fewer arrivals of tourists in Slovenian accommodation facilities and 2 percent fewer nights spent than in the first two months of last year, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has said.

“Considering the current global situation and trends, Slovenia is facing an expected fall of between 2 percent and 4 percent. However, the number of domestic guests has risen and they are also spending more nights,” STB said.

According to provisional data provided by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 281,071 arrivals of Slovenian and foreign tourists were registered in tourist accommodations through the end of February 2009 and 952,362 overnight stays were recorded. Overnight stays by foreign tourists accounted for 48 percent. Most of these overnight stays were by tourists from Italy, Croatia, Austria, the UK, Serbia and Hungary. “This means that Italy continues to take first place in terms of the number of guests and the number of overnight stays of the foreign markets targeted by Slovenian tourism; the number of overnight stays by Italian guests was up 10 percent in comparison with the first two months of last year,” STB. “In these times of crisis, Slovenia is becoming an attractive tourist destination for nearby regions – in the case of Italy for guests from Friuli, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. Demand from other nearby foreign markets (Austria, Germany) is dwindling and at the same time the number of guests from Slovenia is growing (2 percent), as is the number of overnight stays they are registering (3 percent).”

The Slovenian Tourist Board said it is actively trying to retain its position in traditionally important markets and is at the same time increasing the number of markets in which it is intensifying marketing and promotional activities. These markets include Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Spain and Russia. Slovenia’s positioning in Asian markets will also become more ambitious.

In Europe and beyond its borders, Slovenia is increasingly becoming known as a destination where the price and quality of what is on offer to tourists correspond well with each other. The Financial Times also recently reported on Slovenia’s successful presentation and published an article on Slovenia’s presentation at the International Tourism Exchange, ITB Berlin.

In recent years, Slovenia has become more competitive in the tourist domain. According to an analysis by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Slovenia ranks 35th out of 133 countries based on 14 factors of competitiveness in the tourist sector. On this eminent rankings list, Slovenia has advanced 9 places in two years – in 2007 it was ranked 44th.