According to the overall assessment of competitiveness for the development of the tourism sector produced for 140 countries for the World Economic Forum, Slovenia ranked 36th, and improved for five places over 2017.
Slovenia’s best ranking comes in environmental sustainability, where it ranks 8th. It also ranked highly in safety and security (15th place), ground and port infrastructure (20th place), natural resources (26th place), tourist service infrastructure (27th place) and prioritisation of travel and tourism (33rd place).
The research is based on scores for 14 pillars of competitiveness in the travel and tourism sector, within four key categories (the categories) as follows: 1) enabling environment, 2) travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions, 3) infrastructure and 4) natural and cultural resources. The best ranking is in the area of travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions for development (2nd category), where Slovenia ranked 18th. This was mainly the result of growth in the prioritisation of tourism.
In the overall assessment of competitiveness Slovenia ranked 36th, which shows an improvement of five places over 2017. There was also an improvement in the average score of assessed parameters, rising from 4.2 to 4.3 on a 7-point scale.
The report showed that in the area of prioritisation of tourism. Slovenia occupies 33rd place, meaning a jump of 14 places over 2017. The most notable progress was made in effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists, mainly in the area of campaigns to attract foreign guests(a jump of 26 places) and in the indicator of government prioritisation of tourism (a jump of 24 places).
Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology: “This year’s report from the World Economic Forum on travel and tourism competitiveness, which gives Slovenia an overall ranking of 36th place (out of 140 countries), is proof that we are on the right path in the area of tourism. We have an appropriate strategy that enables the successful sustainable development of tourism. We can take greatest pride in the note from the report that Slovenia remains the most competitive economy in the region. This is ascribed mainly to the general business environment, the attention we devote to tourism, the general and tourist infrastructure, environmental sustainability – in which Slovenia is in 8th place – and natural resources. We are delighted that international professional circles have determined that Slovenia has made progress in many criteria and is successfully dealing with sharp international competition.”
Msc. Maja Pak, director of the Slovenian Tourist Board: “The ranking in 36th place on the scale of most competitive countries in tourism shows that the competitiveness of Slovenian tourism has grown in the last two years. In the area of effectiveness of marketing and promotion of Slovenian tourism we jumped a full 26 places. This confirms the effectiveness of the strategic, targeted and long-term activities we have implemented through intensified and partnership cooperation with line ministries, Slovenia’s tourism industry and other key partners. It is particularly pleasing to see the improvement in the position in the area of environmental sustainability to eighth place, which confirms the success of our efforts to position Slovenia as a leading tourism destination in the area of sustainable development. We ranked first in the indicator of proportion of all protected areas. The improvement by 24 places in cultural resources and 16 places in natural resources, and by two places in safety and security show that unspoilt nature, the exceptional cultural wealth of our country and safety and security are key factors of strategic positioning on the map of the most competitive tourist destinations,”adding: “Efforts in Slovenian tourism to achieve a green positioning abroad have not gone unnoticed, and progress on this year’s scale of competitiveness serves as confirmation of the rightness of the strategically planned path, a special recognition for the successful work of all those in Slovenian tourism and at the same time an exceptional encouragement for our continued work.”
This year’s report revealed that relative to the last assessment period, Slovenia made great positive shifts in the areas of cultural and natural resources.
It also ranks highly in the areas of environmental sustainability and safety and security.In the area of environmental sustainabilityit occupies 8th place, signifying an improvement of two places. The major advance was in the assessed level of sustainable development of travel and tourism infrastructure (a jump of a full 20 places).
In the area of safety and securityit occupies 15th place.
Improvements could also be discerned in the area of health and hygiene (an advance of 8 places) and price competitiveness (improved by one place).
Slovenia shows weaker rankings in the areas of air transport infrastructure (79th place) and the business environment (87th place), while it scores highly in ground and port infrastructure (20th place, the same as in 2017) and in tourist service infrastructure (27th place, a drop of two places).
The theme of this year’s report is travel and tourism at a tipping point, which steers attention towards excessive tourism, one of the most salient issues of modern-day tourism and also the main topic of yesterday’s panel on tourism entitled “Tourism for all destinations: Dispersal over space and time”. Since the publication of the previous report in April 2017, excessive tourism has become an everyday phenomenon, says the report. The expression ‘excessive tourism’ or ‘overtourism’ is used to denote the negative impact tourism can have on a destination, and it is often a consequence of poor management or exceeding the tourism capacities of a destination. The report offers stakeholders an invaluable tool for understanding and predicting trends and risks, as well as the possibilities for adapting. It highlights how the desire for competitiveness merely for the sake of being competitive can become an obstacle rather than a benefit for the entire sector.
A summary of the full report, with a comparison of rankings for previous years will be posted in the coming days on the MGRT and STB websites.