Based on the new figures released by the Slovenia Tourist Board, the Balkan country of Slovenia is slowly but surely becoming a favorite destination for tourists.

By the end of June 2008, tourist accommodation facilities had registered 1,201,993 tourist arrivals and 3,535,791 overnight stays, the Slovenia Tourist Board said. “There was a 3 percent increase in the total number of overnight stays in the first six months of 2008 over the same period last year; tourist arrivals and overnight stays in June 2008 alone were down by 2 percent over June 2007.”

Furthermore, detailed data show that Slovenian tourist spots in June 2008 registered 267,742 overnight stays: 90,186 by domestic and 177,556 by foreign tourists.

In the January¬–June 2008 period, foreign tourists accounted for 56 percent of all overnight stays. Sixty-three percent of all foreign overnight stays were accounted for by visitors from the following six countries: Italy with 19 percent, Austria with 15 percent, Germany with 11 percent, Croatia with 9 percent, the UK with 6 percent and the Russian Federation with 3 percent.

Separately, in the first quarter of 2008, the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia monitored 146 units: 22 natural, cultural and historical sites, 31 museums and galleries, 24 thermal baths, 21 other swimming facilities, and 48 casinos and gaming salons, according to the Slovenia Tourists Board.

The selected Slovenian natural, cultural and historical sites registered 213,495 visitors in the first quarter of 2008, 31.9 percent of whom were from abroad. Most visits were recorded at Postojna Cave (40,568), Ljubljana Zoo (26,924), Bled Castle Museum (17,378) and the Virtual Museum and Viewing Tower at Ljubljana Castle (9,417). There were 1,404,967 visits to swimming facilities, of these 1,036,089 visits to thermal baths. Casinos and gaming salons registered 1,254,371 visits; 70.5 percent visitors came from abroad.