The Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, as the main Slovenian host of EuroBasket 2013, will be in the centre of the European sports public this September; moreover, Ljubljana as a tourist destination has recorded record results and the highest growth rate in Slovenia. In recent years, Ljubljana`s city centre has witnessed a blossoming of extraordinary boutique hotels and developed new experiences that intertwine urban Ljubljana with its green backdrop; furthermore, Ljubljana has given the embankment along the Ljubljanica River, which winds through the heart of the city, a pleasant facelift.
Ljubljana, `the beloved` or `die liebliche`, as presented by tourist guides to tourists, contains in its name the character of a friendly city. Also the figures indicate its increasing popularity. In 2012, Ljubljana recorded a 7.7% increase in the number of overnight stays, which is the highest growth rate in Slovenia – 2012 was the second record year in a row for Ljubljana, with the number of arrivals and overnight stays in the period 2001-2012 more than doubling. Ljubljana also has the highest internationalisation level in Slovenia and among European cities, with 96% of tourist overnight stays being generated by foreigners. Furthermore, according to the results of the European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report (annual research of trends in 111 European city destinations performed by the European Cities Marketing organisation), Ljubljana was, for the period 2007-2011, ranked in second place as a destination with the highest growth rate of accommodation facilities (the average in European cities was 2.7%, while the number of tourist beds in Ljubljana increased by 13%).
That Ljubljana has been becoming a more developed and attractive tourist destination is also seen in the higher interest of private investors for investments into accommodation facilities in Ljubljana in recent years. This trend has been especially intensive in the last two years, during which, most commonly in the centre and old town centre of Ljubljana, several small favourable accommodation facilities (with the concept of hostels) and boutique hotels have opened their doors; moreover, the Ljubljana hotel market was also expanded by the new Plaza hotel that contributed almost 500 new 4-category beds to hotel accommodation of the capital before last summer.
In 2013, the Trezor hostel on Čopova street opened its doors in what was formerly a bank premises. Rooms are arranged in the spirit of the former use of this building, which is its special feature (similarly, as one of the hippest hostels in the world, Celica in Ljubljana hosts its guests in the cells of a former prison). The rooms in Trezor are composed of small safes, while each room has its own currency and each bed its own value; furthermore, the rooms have been made more interesting by numerous sayings on the walls connected to money.
Ljubljana has recently won two prestigious European awards for its improvement projects, which included renovating its embankments and building new bridges, several pleasantly ambient places along the river and renovating its markets. The Ljubljana town project of renovating its embankments and bridges along the Ljubljanica River won first place in 2012 among 36 European countries and 347 applied projects and received the European award for the urban public place awarded by the Modern Culture Centre in Barcelona. Moreover, Ljubljana received another prestigious international architecture award for the restoration of the Congress Square and revitalisation of the archaeological parks – the Gubbio award is awarded by the Association of Historic and Artistic Centres (L`Associazione Nazionale Centri Storico-Artistici – A.N.C.S.A). Ljubljana won the competition among eight European projects from Portugal, Spain, France and Belgium and received, together with Grenoble, the main award in the European award category.
Ljubljana has also been doing a lot of work on the development of attractive and experience-rich adventures that integrate urban Ljubljana with its green backdrop (region of Central Slovenia). On the destination portal Visitljubljana.com (which was among the first tourist portals in Europe to be upgraded with a responsive design in 2012), Ljubljana Tourism presents attractive and best deal 3-day packages to discover Ljubljana. All packages also include the Ljubljana Tourist Card, which ranked at third place among fourteen European capitals in 2012. Special tourism packages (including Ljubljana and the region) have also been prepared for EuroBasket 2013.
The Ljubljana city and the region of Central Slovenia tourism internet portal is available here.