Slovenian tourist destinations satisfied with the 2018 statistics

Published: 1.2.2019

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Slovenian tourist destinations satisfied with the 2018 statistics

Take a look at what the major tourist destinations think about 2018  and what their statistics say.

Slovenian tourist destinations satisfied with the 2018 statistics

Ljubljana tourism is starting 2019 on solid foundations laid last year, which, among other things, includes eight international recognitions and awards for the successful development of tourism in Ljubljana, a lengthier stay of tourists in the city, and two million overnight stays exceeded by October.This is a result of fulfilling the key strategic goals in tourism in Ljubljana, such as the deseasonalisation of visits, lengthier stays by tourists, high-quality tourist products, and, as a result, greater tourist consumption, and directing tourist flows from the immediate city centre to other areas in Ljubljana and Central Slovenia. Overnight stays by foreign guests accounted for 96.4%. Last year, the average length of stay by guests was 2.4 days, which means that tourism in Ljubljana achieved another one of its strategic goals, i.e. extending the length of stay by guests. Last year was also a record year in congress tourism, which significantly contributed to extending the length of stay.  Furthermore, extending the stay of Asian guests and increasing the number of tourists in months with traditionally fewer visitors – April, May, and November – is also a great success.

In 2018, the City of Maribor and the Maribor-the Pohorje Hills tourist destination once again achieved the best results thus far. According to the provisional statistics issued by the Statistical Office, 201,160 tourists stayed in the City of Maribor overnight, thus generating a total of 438,000 overnight stays. In the city of Maribor, the ratio between local and foreign overnight stays and guests was 13:87, to the benefit of foreign overnight stays and guests. The average length of stay by tourists compared to the previous year also extended here, i.e. from 1.85 to 2.17 days. In 2018 (I–XI), most of the tourists staying in the City of Maribor came from the following markets: Germany (39,525 overnight stays), Croatian guests beat Austrians and Italians with 27,659 overnight stays, while Poles were in third place with 25,920 overnight stays, and Italians in fourth place with 23,395 overnight stays. Serbs are next with 21,301 overnight stays, while Austrian guests are only in sixth place with 19,977 overnight stays. Positive trends can also be noticed with Dutch guests, who had 12,864 overnight stays in 2018.

The Maribor-Pohorje Hills tourist destination was visited by 250,000 guests in 2018, and they generated 560,000 overnight stays. The average length of stay in this destination was 2.24 days.

2018 also saw excellent results in the Municipality of Piran, which exceeded one million overnight stays as early as in July.“Excellent December results are proof that Slovenia is becoming increasingly interesting in winter too. Particularly the Mediterranean climate and world-class services in our wellness centres allow tourism to be operational throughout the year. The cherry on top are events during the holiday season, and we are trying to offer more in this field every year. We are pleased with the annual statistics too. In addition to the increase in the number of overnight stays, I am most pleased that hotels are getting higher prices per hotel room sold,” says Igor Novel, Director of the Portorož Tourist Association.

Last year, nearly half a million overnight stays were recorded in Izola.“Statistics show that, after the record 2017 season, the enviable results in Izola improved further. Almost half a million overnight stays were recorded, visits by foreign guests increased by a third, the Tourism Association renovated Izolana – House of the Sea, a new website was made for tourism in Izola, and our presence in social media was upgraded.  Enhanced cooperation with neighbouring destinations, with which we launched common promotional activities, and attracting potential visitors through social media using the Love Istria brand also contributed to the good results. There was special emphasis on the digital presentation of Izola’s cuisine within the Tastes of Izola project. Gastronomy will continue to be one of the more important aspects of promotion in 2019,” says the Izola Tourism Association

In Soča valley, last year’s tourist season was by one-fifth better than in 2017. “In only eight years, since 2010, when the number of overnight stays stopped at 305,000, the amount more than doubled by last year – to 740,000 overnight stays. The combination of attractions and nature draws an increasing number of tourists from more than 50 countries around the world, and a quarter of them are from Germany. Last season, the fourth consecutive record-breaking season, generated more than EUR 706,000 in tourist fees for the municipalities in the Posočje region. On the other hand, this intensive visit, which has been growing from year to year, brings certain challenges in the field of infrastructure. It is a good sign that the season is extending to spring and autumn as well,” pointed out Janko Humar, Director of the Soča Valley Tourist Board.

In Škofja Loka, the highest number of visitors were recorded in the summer, the most of them coming in August, from Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. “In the past two years, an increase in the number of guests from eastern Europe has particularly been noticed. Tourists like the charm of a small medieval town, the access to cultural monuments, and our views. They are interested in viewpoints in Škofja Loka and the surrounding area and hiking and cycling trails. Gastronomy has become increasingly important, tourists mainly enquire about good restaurants where they can taste local dishes. They miss a camping site, as many tourists, especially from Benelux countries and France, travel by camper van. Especially if there is bad weather, families miss activities for children,”highlighted the Škofja Loka Tourism Board.

In 2018, the Brda Tourist Information Centre recorded 11,526 visitors (9007 in 2017), of which 3501 were local and 8025 foreign. “We recorded the highest number of visits from April to October, even though this number has been increasing in all months from year to year. There are also many visitors who do not come to our offices, so we can assume that the number is even higher. On the basis of registered overnight stays, we recorded 43,429 overnight stays (37,306 in 2017), with a higher number concentrated in the second half of the year. Among visitors who stay here for an extended amount of time, Slovenian visitors still prevail; they are followed by Italians, Austrians, and Germans. We have noticed a significant increase in the number of visitors from the USA, Canada, and Australia.The number of Slovenian visitors has been increasing from year to year, and the trend of visiting local destinations has become increasingly popular among young people as well.This is surely also due to organised team building and business events held by Slovenian companies. When visiting a destination, visitors wish to experience various things, they seek authentic experiences, so they enquire about tastings at farms; and in addition to having contact with local cuisine, they wish to spend their free time actively.A higher number of rented bicycles and greater interest in hiking trails have also been recorded,” according to the Brda TIC.

According to the Slovenian Spas Association, their members finished 2018 optimistically and with better profits, while also achieving an above-average occupancy rate throughout the entire year. In 2018, a slightly better result than the preceding year was recorded; Slovenian spas hosted 841,612 guests who created 3,198,992 overnight stays, which is 0.2% more than the preceding year. The number of overnight stays by foreign guests increased by 0.5%, while the number of overnight stays by Slovenians remained exactly the same, allowing the proportion of foreign guests and their overnight stays to exceed the proportion of local guests and their overnight stays for the first time – the former now account for 50.4%, while the latter account for 49.6%. The Association stresses that, considering the existing capacities, the number of overnight stays cannot keep increasing, as some accommodation capacities already have 80% occupancy at an annual basis, and most spas are almost at full capacity over weekends throughout the year. Numerous investments have also contributed to the increase in the quality of tourism products and they are mainly intended to improve unforgettable experiences, spa treatments and wellness experiences through unique thermal water, sea climate, and other natural therapeutic factors, which are the basis for this type of tourism. “It is investment that is the only true option for raising products to an even higher level, which would allow us to justify our expectations of even better financial results in the coming year. Ultimately, it will be counted as a success if we do not exceed the statistical number of arrivals and overnight stays, but visitors return due to their satisfaction with our tourist products. Many companies are obliged to report to their owners and supervisors and to publish information on the stock exchange , so final financial results will not be known until April, but there is still exciting information concerning an income increase reported by some companies, which is undoubtedly the main goal of each successfully devised business plan and is in line with the main strategic focus of Slovenian tourism,” the Association emphasised. 

Cableway and ski slope operators prepare for the winter season throughout the summer season, and activities are intensified in autumn, according to the Association Ropeways of Slovenia. Winter came early the year before last, which taught operators a great lesson, so they were ready for the ski season as early as at the beginning of November. The 2018–2019 season was launched in most of the major ski centres on 30 November and 1 December, which is somewhat later than two seasons ago, when skiing was already possible on St Martin's Day. Later, there was not much snow, the Association emphasises, but it was cold enough to make artificial snow. This allowed all ski resorts which have systems in place for making artificial snow to take advantage of the favourable conditions and provide snow for most of their ski slopes. The favourable weather conditions were well taken advantage of by those who love hitting the slopes. So, slightly more visitors were recorded than in the same period in 2017 when there was more than enough natural snow. As a whole, the season is now positively evaluated, as income indicates a somewhat greater growth.

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