Let's celebrate the Day of Slovenian Sport
Let's celebrate the Day of Slovenian Sport
Sport represents an extremely important part of the Slovenian identity and an important generator of Slovenia's social and business excellence. In terms of the number of sports achievements per inhabitant, Slovenians belong to the very top of the world, so it is not surprising that a national holiday is also dedicated to sports. It is called the Day of Slovenian Sport and celebrated on September 23.
Sport plays an important part in the everyday lives of Slovenias, and for many people, spending their free time actively in pristine nature is one of the greatest assets. In fact, we could say that sport is written in Slovenian's genes and that sport has been placed in the cradle of Slovenians - it is not important when a Slovenian made their first steps, but when they first skied, swam or conquered one of the Slovenian peaks. Therefore, it is not surprising that Slovenia has a national holiday dedicated to sports. It is called the Day of Slovenian Sport Day and celebrated on September 23.
Slovenia has a sporting heart
One of the most important reasons why sport is such an important part of Slovenian identity is the pristine and diverse nature, which is the result of Slovenia's unique location at the crossroads of four geographically completely different worlds. If you add a well-organized sports infrastructure, then it is not surprising that Slovenians are definitely among the top in the world in terms of the number of sports achievements per inhabitant. Slovenia is gaining visibility as an exceptional destination both for the preparation of athletes and major sports competitions. It is also becoming extremely popular among travelers seeking for a destination for active outdoor adventures.
For 2022 and 2023, the Slovenian Tourist Board has defined sports tourism as the main communication theme. This includes active adventures in nature and sports events and preparations. As a result, even more attention is being given to the promotion and development of this important and at the same time promising tourist product of Slovenian tourism, which perfectly connects with other tourism products and at the same time upgrades them.
International sports events hosted by Slovenia are extremely important for promoting the country. The STB strengthens the visibility and reputation of Slovenia through intensive communication and promotional activities and in cooperation with Slovenian athletes. For this purpose, the I FEEL SLOVENIA brand is being highlighted at sporting events at home and abroad. By doing so, the Slovenian Tourist Board reaches millions of sports enthusiasts as well as fans of active leisure.
This year, Slovenia has already hosted a number of high-profile international sports events. Among the most notable ones is definitely the Men's Volleyball World Championship, which was moved from Russia to Slovenia, and the EHF European Women's Handball Championship (Ljubljana, Celje, Skopje, Podgorica), which will take place in November. For the latter, the organizers will not only focus on the sporting aspect of the event, but also on the empowerment of women in sports and society. A number of other annual events also deserves to be mentioned as well, including Golden Fox, Vitranc Cup, FIS World Cup Finals in ski jumping in Planica, Giro d'Italia – Slovenian stage, Tour of Slovenia and World Ice Hockey Championship for Men, Division I, Group A ( Ljubljana).
But it is not only sports events that take place in Slovenia that raise the visibility of Slovenia – thanks to exceptional success of Slovenian athletes, sports events that take place abroad also form an important part of the mosaic. Let's mention the Olympic Games, World and European championships (European Men's Basketball Championship this September) and recognizable cycling races, including the Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta and the Tour de France, which, thanks to the exceptional success of Slovenian cyclists, turned out to be an excellent opportunity for highlighting Slovenia. Slovenian Tourist Board accompanied this high-profile sporting event with a wide range of promotional activities and ensured additional exposure of Slovenia. Activities included masthead advertising space on the YouTube channel during the race, new landing pages to encourage fan fever, virtual props that include both filters and GIFs, promotional videos (a video about Pogačar and a video quiz where Pogačar and Roglič test their knowledge of Slovenia), Strava club Cycling fans of Slovenia, where members accumulate cycling kilometers, a prize game, the I FEEL SLOVENIA pavilion at the opening stage of the race in Copenhagen and, last but not least, the branding of the Slovenian fans who watched the race live. We all recall the royal 12th stage of the Tour de France, which was attended by between eight and ten thousand Slovenians. Their cheering in Alpe d'Huez took the attention of world renowned media and flooded the television screens with Slovenian flags on the French national holiday.
Connection is the key
By connecting key stakeholders in the field of sport and tourism and through coordinated (co)operation, the STB strives to help set the coordinated and sustainable measures and events, which will bring long-term economic, social and promotional effects to Slovenian sports and tourism. With the aim of coordinated cooperation of key stakeholders and the preparation of strategic directions and priority measures in the field of sports tourism, the STB's Expert Group on Sports Tourism was established in 2022, which is working on the Action Plan for the Development and Marketing of Sports Tourism in Slovenia 2022-2023. This is the basis for marketing and promotional activities in the field of sports tourism in Slovenia, with an emphasis on sports events and athletes' preparations.
Slovenian athletes – the ambassadors of Slovenian tourism
The STB continues and builds on cooperation with top athletes, ambassadors of Slovenian tourism, who have been helping increase Slovenia's global visibility as a tourist destination for many years. This year, Janja Garnbret also became the Ambassador of Slovenian Tourism and joined Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič (through Jumbo Visma). Agreements are also underway on the continuation of cooperation with Luka Dončić and Ilka Štuhec, as well as with Rok Možič. With him and Jan Kozamernik, the STB recently shot a promotional video, in which they test their knowledge of Slovenia's tourist attractions on a sand court in a relaxed environment. For all sports-related videos on Feel Slovenia YouTube channel, follow the link.
Have you already listened to the sports-themed episodes of Feel Slovenia the podcast?
The podcast is considered an extremely successful communication tool that enables a way to connect and spread information between potential partners and users, which is why the Slovenian Tourist Board launched Feel Slovenia podcast series in English this year. Since sport is the main theme of this year and next year, many podcasts are also dedicated to sport, which bring the sporting heart of Slovenia to the fore. The podcast is moderated by Dr Noah Charney, an American who lives in Slovenia. He is an author of numerous articles about Slovenia in world-renowned media. So far, he has hosted top Slovenian cyclist and ambassador of Slovenian tourism Tadej Pogačar in the podcast, sports journalist Kate Wagner, who talked about the phenomenon of Slovenian cyclists, and Sara Isakovič, who used to push the boundaries in swimming, but is nowadays a renowned sports psychologist.
Feel Slovenia the Podcast #8: Cycling in Slovenia with Tour de France Champion Tadej Pogačar
Feel Slovenia the Podcast #10: Olympic Training for the Mind: A Conversation with Sara Isaković
Feel Slovenia the Podcast #11: A Talk With Kate Wagner About Slovenian Cycling Phenomenon and Cyclists Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič