Travel exports and overnight stays in Slovenian tourism at the 2019 level

Published: 22.12.2022

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Travel exports and overnight stays in Slovenian tourism at the 2019 level

According to the National Statistical Office, just under 14.9 million overnight stays were recorded from January to November 2022, 42% more than in the same period last year and 0.9% less than in the comparative period in 2019. Domestic tourists accounted for 5.2 million, or 35% of all overnight stays, while foreign tourists accounted for 9.6 million, or 65% of all overnight stays.

Travel exports and overnight stays in Slovenian tourism at the 2019 level

According to the Bank of Slovenia, the value of travel exports in the first ten months of 2022 is EUR 2.49 billion, which is almost at the level of 2019, when the value of travel exports in the same period was EUR 2.50 billion. The value of travel exports from January to October 2022 is 73% higher than in the same period previous year. Tourism is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels globally in 2024.

In 2022, Slovenian tourism adopted a new tourism strategy, which follows the principle of "a little more, but much better". This means aiming for a moderate increase in the numbers and a substantial increase in the quality of services and higher added value. In 2022 occupancy rates in many destinations have also reached 2019 levels. We are coming to the end of a year that has brought many challenges for Slovenian tourism, especially in terms of staffing and finances.

MSc. Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, commented: "With close to 15 million overnight stays in the first eleven months and the inflow from travel exports up to and including October, Slovenian tourism has reached the level of the pre-crisis year 2019. However, while tourism has successfully re-launched, the industry is still facing major challenges, such as rising energy prices and staff shortages. In 2023, the Slovenian Tourist Board will continue to work with the Slovenian tourism industry and other partners to put tourism on a path towards an even more sustainable and resilient future. We will implement a number of promotional and development projects, the most important of which are the development of a national data centre and the creation of a model for the organisation of Slovenian tourism. We will pay particular attention to strengthening the knowledge and competences of tourism employees, raising the profile of tourism and hospitality professions, promoting the development of higher-added value products and further enhancing Slovenia's visibility and reputation, including in the context of globally renowned sporting events in Slovenia."

Most foreign tourists from Germany

In the first eleven months of 2022, the largest number of overnight stays in Slovenia by foreign tourists came from Germany (18.4% of all overnight stays by foreign tourists), followed by Austria (8.7%), Italy (8.4%), the Netherlands (6.5%) and the Czech Republic (5.8%). Before the pandemic, the distribution by market was similar; the order and market share changed (in the same period in 2019: Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic).

The ratio of overnight stays by domestic and foreign tourists in the first 11 months of this year is 35:65% in favour of foreign guests (in the same period in 2019, the ratio was 27:73% in favour of foreign guests).

Most overnight stays in mountain municipalities

From January to November 2022, the highest number of tourist overnight stays was generated in mountain municipalities (32% of total overnight stays), followed by seaside municipalities (20%) and spa municipalities (20%). Mountain, seaside and other tourist municipalities recorded more tourist overnight stays than in the same period last year: 5.2% more in mountain municipalities, 2.8% more in seaside municipalities, and 10.1% more in the group of other municipalities. Domestic and foreign tourists made the most overnight stays in hotels from January to November (48% of all overnight stays and 48% more than in the same period in 2021), followed by other accommodation establishments and then campsites.

Tourism will reach pre-pandemic levels globally in 2024

It is estimated that Slovenian tourism will record 5.8 million tourist arrivals and 15.6 million tourist overnight stays in 2022.

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) estimates that international arrivals will reach 65% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. According to UNWTO data, 700 million international arrivals were recorded between January and September, 133% more than in the same period in 2021. Europe continues to be in the lead among the continents in the recovery of international tourist arrivals. Between January and September 2022, Europe recorded 477 million international arrivals (i.e. 68% of total global arrivals), a return to 81% of pre-pandemic levels. This was significantly boosted by stronger demand within the region and travel from the United States. Europe performed particularly well in Q3, with arrivals reaching almost 90% of 2019 levels.

Data from the European Travel Commission (ETC) also shows a significant increase in European tourist arrivals. However, the outlook for the future of travel remains uncertain due to inflation affecting the economic slowdown and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. As a result, the ETC forecasts that the recovery of the tourism sector is expected to be slower than anticipated due to the lingering risks. According to the ETC, consumers' declining disposable income is having an impact on their travel decisions.

Source: the Slovenian National Statistical Office

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