May Day Holidays and Summer Season: High Occupancy on the Horizon

Published: 25.4.2024

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May Day Holidays and Summer Season: High Occupancy on the Horizon

Destinations anticipate high occupancy rates during the May Day holidays and throughout the summer tourist season. They showcase positive results from the first quarter, with many gearing up to engage visitors outside peak times with new activities and offerings.

May Day Holidays and Summer Season: High Occupancy on the Horizon

LJUBLJANA

According to Ljubljana Tourist Board, the city expects around 80% occupancy during the May Day holidays and 85% to 90% during summer, with a significant influx from Italy, Germany, the United States, France, Croatia and the UK.

 

MARIBOR

Maribor Tourism Board reports that May's occupancy and visitor numbers will be similar to last year's figures, with 45,000 overnight stays and 20,000 arrivals. Despite a slight decrease (0.5%) in overnight stays for the first quarter, Maribor saw a 5% increase in arrivals compared to the same period last year. This is attributed to the poor ski season, with March results showing a notable upsurge (7 % more overnights and 25 % arrivals).  The ratio between domestic and foreign overnight stays was 12/88. Most foreign overnight stays were made by guests from Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Hungary and Italy. The average length of stay was 2.7 days.

Maribor's tourism is not seasonally restricted to one product; it offers urban and natural experiences year-round. Winter and summer seasons cater to different markets, with Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Hungary featuring prominently in winter, while Germany, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic are key players in summer.

 

BLED

Bled projects 80% hotel occupancy during the May Day holidays. In spring, the area mainly attracts guests from neighbouring countries (Italy, Croatia and Germany) and expands its reach to include the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United States, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Austria during summer. The number of Australian visitors is also increasing. Asian markets are also recovering from the epidemic, albeit more slowly than expected - in 2019, 12,622 Chinese guests visited Bled, generating 17,596 overnight stays, while in 2023, 3,303 Chinese guests generated 4,563 overnight stays. Asian markets show a strong interest in individual travel for groups of 4 to 8 people, interested in authentic and local experiences.

The number of visitors has traditionally been rising sharply since the May Day holidays, indicating a good summer season. In May, Bled will host a number of groups and events; it has been selected as the 26th host and co-organiser of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop, which will take place from 14 to 16 May, and also the world's leading obstacle race series, the Spartan Race Bled hosted by I Feel Slovenia, will be held there for the first time on 18 and 19 May, with nearly 2,500 runners from 31 countries registered so far.

According to hoteliers, current bookings indicate good occupancy rates well into the autumn, from September well into November, which points to a lengthening tourist season.

As they point out, the path around the lake is passable again and a new and improved tourist offer has been prepared. In April, the rehabilitation of the pavement in Milno was completed, so the circular walking route around Lake Bled is again in operation. In cooperation with the House of Experiments and Dr. Nika Leben, the Bled Castle opened an Experiment Room for families with children, where one can learn about Bled Castle and the surrounding stories through experiments in an experiential way. From 4 May onwards, the Enchanted Forest Experience, a fairy-tale-themed trail, will also open. One of the most recognisable and visited natural attractions in Slovenia, the Vintgar Gorge, has reopened its doors. As a novelty, they have presented an upgrade of the circular route and the inclusion of two thematic trails - a unique experiential and interpretative experience called Vintgarjenje. The purchase of tickets has been digitalised, and there is also a professional guided tour of the gorge available. Car parking directly in front of the Vintgar Gorge is no longer available, so a free electric Vintgar Shuttle has been arranged to connect the gorge with three nearby car parks - the Vintgar Lip central car park, the Vintgar Blejski grad car park and the Vintgar Blejska Dobrava car park. There are parking spaces for motorbikes and bicycles directly in front of the gorge. 

BOHINJ

Bohinj Tourism notes hotel occupancy between 60% and 80% during the May Day holidays, with slightly lower rates for private accommodations. While domestic tourists make up the majority, Bohinj welcomes visitors from Poland, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, France and Austria. Summer forecasts align with last year's levels, with July and August expected to be particularly busy.

PORTOROŽ in PIRAN

Portorož predicts similar tourist visits to Portorož & Piran as last year, with around 80% occupancy during the May Day holidays. Alongside local visitors, guests from Austria, Germany, Italy and Serbia are anticipated.

Tourism results for the first three months of the year are also good. From January to the end of March, 194,345 overnight stays were recorded in all accommodation establishments in the municipality of Piran, i.e. 15% more than last year. The March results were particularly good, with a quarter more overnight stays than last year. Predictions are also optimistic for summer months.

 

IZOLA 

The Izola Tourist Association anticipates excellent occupancy for the May Day holidays, attributed partly to favourable timing and local events. Bookings are comparable to last year; they are currently around 70 %, and enquiries are increasing daily.

The timing of this year's Easter holidays, which were earlier than last year, has certainly contributed a lot to the current results and the structure of tourist arrivals. Another important factor in the pre-season is the number of sporting events, which attract many athletes to Izola in spring (and autumn). They take advantage of the favourable climate to prepare for various sports competitions and this year there have been quite a few of them in Izola and Slovenian Istria. Culinary and wine events are also a good motive to visit. In Izola, the May Day holidays will be crowned with the Pier of Tastes, which will once again bring together Slovenian Istria's delicacies on 4 May.

 

NOVA GORICA in VIPAVSKA DOLINA

Nova Gorica and Vipava Valley anticipate high occupancy during both the May Day holidays and summer tourist season. The expected surge in August is encouraging, with Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Croatia among the key source markets. To increase visis outside the high season, they organise several international events. During the May Day holidays, they expect an increase in the number of guests throughout the destination, also thanks to UTVV I Feel Slovenia, a high-profile international running event.

Visitors are invited to numerous culinary and wine events that feature seasonal ingredients on their plates, campaigns that promote authentic and local offerings and opportunities for outdoor activities, which are available to visitors almost all year round thanks to the favourable climate. A new addition to the destination is the newly opened Rafutski Park in Nova Gorica. The park complex, featuring a villa recognized as a national natural heritage site and a cherished local cultural monument, stands as a captivating gem within Slovenia's heritage landscape.

 

PTUJ

Ptuj reports the capacities for the May Day holidays in Ptuj are still filling up, but there are still some available. The current weather forecast also has an impact on guests' decisions. For the summer months, bookings are still in progress.  Most of the guests are expected to be from abroad (Germany, Austria), with an increase in transit (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia etc.). A new feature is planned for the summer months: the tours of the City Tower.

 

CAMPSITES

The Slovenian Campsites Association notes slightly lower occupancy compared to last year, influenced by weather conditions and last-minute cancellations. Forecasts for the summer remain optimistic, albeit with potential challenges in the German market. Key markets include Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic and Poland.

 

SPECIALIZED OUTDOOR ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS

According to Slovenia Outdoor, specialized outdoor accommodation providers project high occupancy for the May Day holidays and summer season, with a surge in interest compared to last year. Activities like guided hikes and local experiences enhance guest experiences, with Germany, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA and the Czech Republic being primary source markets.

 


MARCH TOURISM STATISTICS

According to data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS) as of April 25, 2024, March saw tourist accommodation establishments report 337,000 tourist arrivals and 841,000 overnight stays, marking a 22% and 18% increase respectively compared to the previous year. Ljubljana, Piran and Bled recorded the highest number of overnight stays, with spa municipalities being the most frequented destinations.

Domestic tourists contributed 36% of all overnight stays in March, with 109,000 arrivals, a 3% decrease from the previous year, and nearly 304,000 overnight stays, a 2% decrease. The municipality of Piran led in overnight stays, followed by Podčetrtek and Brežice.

Foreign tourist arrivals surged by 38%, totaling over 228,000, with just under 538,000 overnight stays, a one-third increase from the previous year. Ljubljana registered the highest number of overnight stays, followed by Piran and Bled.

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