Favourable epidemiological situation results in opening of tourist facilities across the country

Published: 27.5.2021

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Favourable epidemiological situation results in opening of tourist facilities across the country

Thanks to favourable epidemiological situation in Slovenia, Slovenian Tourist Board (STB), together with the Slovenian tourism industry, has started intensifying promotional activities for tourism restart. Read the opinions of some of the key decision makers in Slovenian tourism industry.

Favourable epidemiological situation results in opening of tourist facilities across the country

Favourable epidemiological situation has led to a wider release of anti-Covid measures and resulted in the opening of restaurants, accommodations and other tourist offer across the country. This is a good starting point for the summer tourist season, which will once again highlight green, safe, healthy and authentic experiences based on the Green&Safe label, which communicates national standards for healthy and safe tourism. What is more, the STB, together with many partners, is implementing the central all-Slovenia motivational campaign Now is the Time. My Slovenia. The goal is to inspire Slovenians to have holidays in Slovenia and thus encourage the recovery of the Slovenian tourism industry. In addition, various activities in key foreign markets are also taking place.

Simon Zajc, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology: "Increasingly favourable epidemiological conditions have enabled the government to release anti-Covid measures and gradually reopen the catering and tourism industry, which fills us with optimism. The epidemic additionally reminded of the importance of Slovenian tourism for the economy, as it affected not only tourism, but also all related activities to the greatest possible extent. At the ministry, we have responded to this in a timely manner and included tourism in all eight governmental packages and thus helped tourism sector to overcome the crisis, which is needed for the restart of the industry. We are preparing an intervention law for the economy and tourism, which will additionally address the challenges of companies in tourism, but we believe that the vaccination of the population and compliance with high hygiene standards will contribute the most to the lively summer tourist season. If ever, then now is the time to explore all those hidden corners of Slovenia. Tourist vouchers are valid until the end of the year, so it would be a sad thing not to use them. We present Slovenia to the world as a green boutique destination for the most demanding guests – those who are looking for diverse active experiences and the opportunity to stop for a moment and pamper themselves. We must not forget that Slovenia also offers all this to us, Slovenians, so let's spend holidays at home as well."

MSc. Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB)"The latest European Travel Commission report on short-term travel intentions within Europe states that the share of Europeans planning to travel in the next six months is currently at the highest level of all surveys, at 56 %. Europeans want safety, health, peace and relaxation in their travels. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the STB has nourished contact with tourists and business partners and adapted activities accordingly. We are focusing on domestic and nearby markets, we have digitized business events and further strengthened the development of sustainable and unique experiences. With numerous promotional activities, we present attractive safe, green and active tourism products under the Green&Safe label, which communicates responsible travel standards. More than 800 providers already use it. Together with the tourism industry, we have already started implementing the all-Slovenia motivational campaign Now is the Time. My Slovenia., which addresses Slovenians and encourages them to take vacation at home. I am glad that the activities carried out in foreign markets have aroused a lot of interest for holidays in Slovenia and that we can expect a gradual increase in the number of foreign guests. In a few days, we are launching the global I Feel Slovenia – My Way digital campaign in key markets of Slovenian tourism, we participate in international sports events and have established partnerships with sports ambassadors. Also, many virtual as well as the first physical business events are underway. As Slovenia holds the European Region of Gastronomy title, we put emphasis on gastronomy. This is why also a gastronomic video that presents top chefs and their way of sustainable gastronomy has recently been launched. If compared to 2020, we expect a similar number of tourists also for this year, but the concrete results will depend on a large number of factors, in addition to vaccination of the population, general health situation and the release of restrictions also on safety standards at the destination, accessibility and attractiveness. The competition between providers will be strong, but for many years Slovenia has been developing and upgrading its commitment to sustainable and safe tourism tailored to the modern guests who want authentic boutique experiences far from mass tourism. I am glad that 163 providers already hold the Slovenia Green label showcasing sustainable development. The label is awarded within the national certification program Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. This proves that green and safe in Slovenia is not just a promise, but a fact. Therefore, we believe that we will gain the trust of our guests relatively quickly and convince them with an excellent and diverse offer."

Slovenian tourism industry rolled up its sleeves

Iztok Altbauer, Director of the Association of Slovenian Natural spas“In recent weeks, we have rolled up our sleeves in Slovenian spas and health resorts and thoroughly prepared facilities, both accommodation and swimming pools, and wellness areas. While health picture of Slovenia is improving, some spas have already opened their facilities for individual guests, some will continue to do so in the coming days, until the first days of June. In recent days, we have also noticed an increased interest of guests, numerous calls and e-mails. We hope that with Slovenia's transition to the green phase of epidemic, the measures will also change significantly and be eased. The most important thing for us is to take care of the comfort of our guests and our employees, taking into account all the basic hygiene and health recommendations. We are proud that in the spas and health resorts, thanks to the high hygienic standards we have prepared for guests and employees, no cases of transmission of the infection neither between guests nor between employees has been recorded. This proves that hotels, restaurants, swimming pools, wellness resorts are not sources of infections, and that we work and act very responsibly in these exceptional times.”

Miha Kovačič, Director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau“Business meetings have been virtually impossible since March last year due to government restrictions. Undoubtedly, this activity is one of the biggest victims of the Covid-19 epidemic. The transition to the green phase, which we are all looking forward to, indicates relaxations that will, to a certain extent and with many limitations, allow events to take place. Hosts and providers are ready to ensure safe and healthy events also on the basis of a standard prepared by the Slovenian Convention Bureau in cooperation with the National Health Institute of Slovenia. Real-life events are a part of every society and as such absolutely necessary. Online meetings cannot replace personal contacts. We believe that after the release of restrictions, interest in live events will return and that Slovenia will also successfully develop on this promising tourist product. However, the recovery of the meetings industry will take many years, which has also been confirmed by international research.”

Fedja Pobegajlo, Director of the Tourism and Hospitality Chamber of Slovenia: “After a long period of banning the operation of the tourism industry, better times are finally on the horizon. Therefore, in accordance with inquiries and reservations, our members have opened capacities and at the same time taken into account and also upgraded the hygiene recommendations by the National Health Institute; according to our members, guests feel safe and carefree this year, just like in the previous years. In the current period, the accommodation facilities are primarily welcoming domestic guests, but a certain proportion of guests are also coming from the surrounding countries. Currently, according to our information, less than half of the capacities are open, most of them will most likely open in June, for the main season. The first guests are extremely thrilled to be able to enjoy Slovenia's offer again. The employees are also looking forward to being able to carry out their mission again – to create unforgettable experiences for their guests. Most providers focus on offering outdoor activities, wellness and health programs, cuisine and learning about the local environment. Unfortunately, the scope of this year's tourist visit is questionable. The success of the business will largely depend on the visit of foreign guests. There is no single EU Covid-19 certificate yet, countries set different conditions for entry and exit to and from countries, which is very confusing. Thus, it is essential to immediately adopt an intervention law for tourism, which has been in preparation for several months. In our opinion, with the improvement of the epidemiological picture, it is necessary to finally release the operation of the industry, ensure business during the main tourist season and also after it, and mitigate the conditions for crossing the Slovenian border. Slovenia has an infinite number of interesting things, many of which we do not know. This is why we also invite Slovenian guests to explore the country and create new experiences.”

Marko Lenarčič, Direktor of Slovenia Outdoor Association: “Promotional and marketing activities, carried out by the Slovenia Outdoor Association together with its members, which include specialized accommodation for cyclists and hikers, agencies and partner destinations, focuses on foreign as well as domestic markets. In both cases, together with the STB, we address business partners from markets within 500 km through digital and video channels with webinars, workshops, digital fairs for the general public, visits by foreign cycling and hiking journalists in Slovenia, and at home with optimistic printed articles in print and digital media. In June, we will conduct a press trip for local journalists and influencers to promote outdoor activities. Currently, 40 % of accommodation facilities are open, in June it will be 60 %. A lot has also been done in terms of development. Numerous accommodation providers have modernizated and upgraded additional facilities, including Ribno Hotel, Koroš Hotel, Bohinj Tourist Association Accommodation, Šport Otočec Hotel, Soča Hotel and Rogla Bungalows. Among the novelties on cycling and hiking trails are the Culiary Hike on Rogla, Juliana Bike, new parts of the Drava cycling trail, a new mini bike park for children on Rogla, 7 new connecting cycling trails on Pohorje, connecting trails on the Juliana Hiking Trail. Most accommodations and agencies have purchased new e-bikes. Among the special features of the offer of active experiences are licensed quality guides within individual products. "

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