The 25th edition of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop has successfully concluded

Published: 11.5.2023

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The 25th edition of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop has successfully concluded

This week, Portorož hosted the Slovenian Incoming Workshop (SIW), the largest business event in Slovenian tourism. The 25th anniversary edition was attended by representatives of 150 foreign tour operators and travel agencies from 33 countries and 150 Slovenian tourism providers. 

The 25th edition of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop has successfully concluded

Already prior the event, participants had arranged more than 3,000 business meetings via an online application. On the day of the event itself, more than 4,000 appointments were made. Alongside the formal meetings, participants had numerous opportunities for informal networking, as well as learning more about Slovenia's excellent tourism offer.

This year, the 25th anniversary edition of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop (SIW) took place.  The SIW each year brings together foreign tour operators and agencies, as well as leading representatives of Slovenian tourism, including hotels, travel agencies, health resorts, local tourism boards, congress centres and other providers. By organising the event, the Slovenian Tourist Board enables Slovenian tourism providers to meet and conclude business with key buyers from Europe and distant markets, while foreign participants get to know what the country has to offer in terms of tourism. On Wednesday, a press conference was held on the sidelines of the workshop.

Dubravka Kalin, Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, explained: "Slovenia is a destination visited by many tourists from all over the world, and these days it is also being explored by many tour operators. I am confident that they will be impressed by our rich natural and cultural heritage, the quality of our tourist offer and the hospitality shown by the locals. The Slovenian tourism industry has the opportunity to establish new business links and strengthen existing ones. Cooperation will be key to this, and a great start can be the Slovenian Incoming Workshop. The event is organised in a professional manner and offers ample opportunities to exchange views and build genuine relationships between participants. In this way, we can prove that Slovenia is an attractive tourist destination with reliable business partners and many opportunities for top-class experiences."

Press conference on the sidelines of the 25th edition of SIW

Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, MSc. Maja Pak, was thrilled about the high participation of foreign tour operators and agencies: "We are particularly pleased to see the return of representatives of tour operators and travel agencies from more distant markets after the pandemic period. The interest and participation of American tour operators has really gone up, which is the result of our systematic work in the US market, including our cooperation with basketball star Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks. Given the restrained demand from Italian partners in the last period, we are also pleased to see their strong participation. Today, more than 3,000 business meetings are taking place, and this will continue in a series of informal get-togethers with unique boutique experiences. Foreign participants also have a chance to get to know Slovenia on study tours before and after the SIW. We are confident that they will be impressed by the quality and sustainability of Slovenia's tourism offer."

"It is a great pleasure for us that the destination Portorož & Piran is hosting this year's Slovenian Incoming Workshop. The event is a unique opportunity to strengthen business partnerships between foreign tour operators, travel agencies and the Slovenian tourism industry. We believe that the beautiful scenery by the sea will also contribute to the success of this high-profile event. We are delighted that so many partners and guests have come here and will have the opportunity to discover the beauty of our destination in the coming days," said the Acting Director of the Portorož Tourist Board, Aleksander Valentin.

The participants were welcomed by the Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Piran, Christian Poletti.

The SIW 2023 participant, Nickie Harris, Romantics Travel from the USA, also expressed her enthusiasm for Slovenia.

Most buyers from Italy, followed by the USA and the UK

This year was the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic that buyers and suppliers met all in one place. Due to the constraints of the pandemic, the SIW has been held in an innovative "SIW on Boutique Tour" format for the past two years. The 25th edition of the SIW, while full of meetings, maintained its focus on informal gatherings and opportunities to deepen business contacts.

A great interest has been marked for this year's SIW. Among foreign buyers, 54% were attending SIW for the first time. In terms of countries, the largest number came from Italy (23), followed by the USA (14), the UK (11), Austria and the Czech Republic (10 each) and Germany (9). The excellent turnout of US tour operators and travel agencies was also due to the high-profile I Feel Slovenia Night and the business and investment conference and tourism workshop in Dallas at the beginning of April. The SIW also saw the return of buyers from Asian markets (9). In total, 36 participants came from distant markets.

Alongside the 15-minute one-to-one meetings on Wednesday, SIW participants had the opportunity to weave and deepen their contacts at unique experiences on the Slovenian coast and in the hinterland. They embarked on various activities such as sailing, a panoramic boat ride, a gourmet experience, a culinary workshop, yoga and exploring Piran.

The event was rounded off by two social evenings organised in cooperation with the Portorož Tourist Board, LifeClass Hotels & Spa and Sava Hotels & Resorts.

Study tours

Representatives of foreign tour operators and agencies also got to know Slovenia and its tourism offer on five pre- and post-tours. The first tour took place at the beginning of the week, where mostly new foreign SIW participants got to know some of the biggest icons of Slovenian tourism: Ljubljana, Radovljica, Bled, Postojna Cave, Lipica and the Slovenian coast.

After the event, foreign participants had a chance to go to one of four thematic study tours. These took them through a selection of active experiences (Goriška Brda, Soča Valley), wellness (Laško, Rogaška Slatina, Podčetrtek), culture (Kamnik, Velenje, Maribor, Ptuj) and the Slovenian coast and hinterland (Sečovlje, Seča, Padna, Truške).

Cover photo (from left to right). MSc. Aleksander Valentin, Acting Director of Portorož Tourism Board, Mitja Blagajne, Secretary General at the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, MSc. Maja Pak, Director of the STB, Dubravka Kalin, Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, Miha Kovačič, Council of the STB, Christian Poletti, Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Piran, and Dominik S. Černjak, Chairman of the Slovenian Tourist Association.

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