Slovenian tourism stages remarkable post-pandemic comeback in 2023

Published: 31.1.2024

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Slovenian tourism stages remarkable post-pandemic comeback in 2023

Despite global challenges, including an unfavourable economic situation, high transport costs, travel restrictions and severe floods in August, Slovenia's tourism rebounded at a pace surpassing the European and global average. The number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays has now returned to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

Slovenian tourism stages remarkable post-pandemic comeback in 2023

According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, there were nearly 6.2 million tourist arrivals in Slovenia last year, resulting in just over 16.1 million overnight stays – a record high.

In comparison to 2022, arrivals increased by 5.5 percent, and overnight stays rose by 3.5 percent. Contrasting with the pre-coronavirus year 2019, tourist arrivals saw a slight decrease of 0.6 percent, while the number of overnight stays increased by 2.2 percent.

Remarkable annual performance: 18% growth in international tourist arrivals

Compared to 2022, there was an 18.4 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals last year, while domestic tourists decreased by 20.6 percent. Simultaneously, foreign tourists saw a 14.7 percent rise in overnight stays annually, while domestic overnight stays dropped by 17 percent.

In comparison to 2019, the pre-pandemic year, domestic tourist arrivals grew by 0.4 percent, whereas foreign tourist arrivals declined by 0.9 percent.

According to the latest data from UNWTO, international arrivals at the global level in 2023 were still behind 2019 by 12 percent, and in Europe by 6 percent. Slovenia therefore recovered faster than the European and world average.


Compared to 2019, Slovenia experienced a 2.2 percent increase in tourist overnight stays in 2023. Foreign tourist overnight stays rose by 1.6 percent, while domestic tourist overnight stays increased by 3.8 percent. The ratio between overnight stays by domestic and foreign tourists has nearly equalized compared to the period before the pandemic.

Strong growth in arrivals from the German and Visegrad markets

Germany, Italy and Austria remain the most crucial foreign markets, followed by the Czech, Dutch, Croatian, Hungarian, French, Polish and UK markets.

Overnight stays by German tourists increased by 24.4 percent compared to 2019. Markets in the Visegrad Group, including the Czech Republic (+28.8 percent), Hungary (+14.1 percent), Poland (+31.4 percent), and Slovakia (+36.5 percent), showed significant growth. The Netherlands (+9.9 percent), Belgium (+7.1 percent), France (+28.9 percent) and Croatia (+15.5 percent) also saw positive trends. However, tourists from Italy (-15.6 percent), the United Kingdom (-13.6 percent), and Austria (-3.3 percent) are returning more slowly post-pandemic. Multi-year trends in these markets indicate a gradual recovery.

For more information on tourist arrivals and overnight stays last year, visit the STB website.

STB's focus on art and culture in 2024

As we step into 2024, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) remains committed to an array of promotional and communication endeavours. These include an expansive global digital campaign in 21 foreign markets, partnerships with top athletes as ambassadors of Slovenian tourism, partnerships at major international sports events, participation in global fairs, stock exchanges, workshops and other business events. Not to be overlooked is the continuation of the "Moja Slovenija" campaign on the domestic market and ongoing collaboration with esteemed foreign associations, brands, and media outlets.

In terms of development, STB’s efforts persist with the implementation of crucial projects. These involve establishing the National Information Centre, upgrading and digitalizing the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism and organizing various educational and professional events.

Simultaneously, the STB introduces the main promotional theme for 2024 and 2025: art and culture. This thematic shift aligns with the Slovenian Tourist Board's central vision to portray Slovenia as a sustainable, modern and creative destination, distinguished by eminent creators, artistic productions, festivals, events and a rich cultural heritage. The focus lies on modern art forms such as fine arts, literature, photography, music, film, dance, theatre, as well as a celebration of tradition and cultural heritage.

In line with the main communication theme, a fresh concept emerges within STB’s strategy—the inclusion of storytellers from the world of culture, art and creativity. These are prominent Slovenian artists and creators, recognized internationally, who will work with us to enhance Slovenia's visibility as a destination for art and culture.

The first partnership of this kind featured the young artists' group, Joker Out. Together with them, the STB is creating engaging posts on social networks and captivating visual stories, designed especially to resonate with the preferences of new generations of travellers. In the weeks and months ahead, the STB will unveil more personalities from the fields of art and culture, each contributing to the compelling stories of Slovenian art, culture and tourism.

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