Spa and mountain resorts draw tourists to Slovenia

Spa and mountain resorts draw tourists to Slovenia
By bne IntelliNews April 25, 2017

Tourism in Slovenia is a growing industry with more than 240,000 tourists visiting Slovenia in February, 4% more than in the same month of 2016. Meanwhile, the number of tourists making overnight stays in the country was 2% higher than in February 2016 and amounted to more than 645,000 visitors, the Slovenian Statistical Office said on April 25, revising and expanding preliminary data announced on March 30.

Slovenia aims to further boost tourism, which significantly contributes to its GDP, by targeting new markets. Ljubljana is also hoping to benefit from the “Melania Trump effect”; the new US first lady was born in the small Slovenian town of Sevnica. 

Slovenian spa resorts were the most popular draw for tourists in February, accounting for 37% of all tourist overnight stays totalling about 239,000 visitors. Mountain resorts were the second most popular place to visit, accounting for 29% of tourist overnight stays.

Data from February showed the largest number of tourist overnight stays were at the alpine resort of Kranjska Gora (11% or more than 72,000), followed by the capital Ljubljana. The coastal resort of Piran, and the spas at Brežice, Moravske Toplice and Zreče were also popular.



The majority (70%) of overnight stays were spent in hotels, which had an occupancy rate of 50% in February. However, the number of overnight stays at private accommodation increased. 



Visitors to Slovenia are from a variety of countries including Italy (18%), Austria (13%), Serbia (12%), Croatia (11%), Hungary (7%) and the UK (6%).

Recently, along with Serbia, Slovenia advertised its tourist attractions to Iranian travel agents on April 19 in Tehran using the slogan “Enjoy Serbia, feel Slovenia”. This is intended to address one of the issues affecting all the former Yugoslavian countries, their small size. There are hopes that taking a regional approach to attracting tourists could see greater numbers come to the region. 

This could help boost the numbers of foreign tourists visiting Serbia and staying overnight, which increased by 10% y/y in February. 

However, domestic tourism showed a 1% y/y decrease in the month, while overnight stays of domestic visitors were down by 4% y/y. This means there are now almost equal numbers of foreign and domestic tourists making overnight stays (51% and 49% respectively) at tourist accommodation.