Slovenian Tourist Board unveils strategic focus on Art and Culture for 2024-2025

Published: 2.2.2024 More info

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Slovenian Tourist Board unveils strategic focus on Art and Culture for 2024-2025

The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has designated Art and Culture as the overarching communication theme for 2024 and 2025. Yesterday, on 1 February, during the Alpe Adria Fair, a presentation was held showcasing the document "Guidelines to Support the Marketing of the Art and Culture Theme" for 2024 and 2025.

Slovenian Tourist Board unveils strategic focus on Art and Culture for 2024-2025

The presentation of the Guidelines to support the marketing of the theme "Art and Culture" for 2024 and 2025 was attended by more than 80 representatives of tourist destinations and cultural institutions, tourism providers and other stakeholders from the cultural and creative sector. 

MSc. Maja Pak Olaj, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, introduced the guidelines supporting the Art and Culture umbrella theme, emphasizing that discovering other cultures is one of the most significant motives for visiting new destinations. She stressed the vital importance of cooperation between representatives of the tourism industry, destinations, local tourist organizations, and key stakeholders in cultural tourism to promote Slovenia as a cultural destination. "In the upcoming years, the Slovenian Tourist Board is focusing on showcasing Slovenia as a creative destination that is not only green and sustainable but also urban and historically captivating," she stated. "Our promotional and advertising campaigns will spotlight Slovenia's contemporary cultural and artistic production, internationally acclaimed festivals, and unique cultural heritage."

The presentation highlighted the crucial role of leading tourist destinations, alongside cultural stakeholders, in ensuring coordinated nationwide promotion of Slovenia as a modern and appealing cultural destination. Pak Olaj emphasized that "It is imperative that the cultural and tourism sectors work closely together to achieve the objectives outlined in the document."

The guidelines to support the marketing of "Art and Culture" include a matrix of promotional pillars, which identifies three key pillars for promoting Slovenia as an attractive destination for visitors seeking experiences in the field of art and culture.

The first pillar covers urban centres and historic cities, the second artistic production and the third cultural heritage.  

Each pillar has a central theme and marketing message. Pillar 1 is also the central pillar, while the central theme "Cities, Places and Spaces for People" links all the other themes and is the basis for the overarching story. The document sets out, among other things, how city and outdoor destinations should build on their communication activities with cultural and artistic experiences, heritage tourism, cultural trails and cultural landscapes and build promotion.

Picture: Promotional Pillars (as seen in the document "Guidelines to Support the Marketing of the Art and Culture Theme")

MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Tourism Ljubljana, presented the guidelines for cultural tourism and events in Ljubljana. Addressing the audience with the opening question, "Is Ljubljana the European capital with the most culture and creativity per square metre?" she elaborated on how the capital has embarked on the journey of crafting strategic guidelines for cultural tourism and events to realize the vision outlined in these guidelines. Ljubljana's overarching ambition is to emerge as a globally recognized city of culture and creativity, enticing to live, work, and explore. The city aspires to foster an environment where both residents and visitors feel at ease, ensuring an enriched experience for all.

Stušek particularly spotlighted the LUV festival, a vibrant event that infuses the city with energy and excitement, captivating both locals and visitors alike during February and March. She also unveiled the multiannual project of the Šiška Cultural Quarter, which envisions a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life in the city's neighborhoods. Additionally, the project aims to cultivate other cultural quarters in the future, with a primary focus on areas such as Most and behind Bežigrad.

Jure Struc, Director of Maribor Tourism, showcased best practices in integrating cultural heritage and contemporary art with tourism, using Maribor as a prime illustration. "The entire city of Maribor serves as a stage, with culture as its capital and potential," he emphasized. He also underscored the need to aligning initiatives with the needs and expectations of tourists, integrating solutions that cater to their desires. "Our focus is on understanding what visitors want and expect, and aligning our offerings accordingly," he added. He highlighted the recent development of a comprehensive app offering a centralized overview of all events and activities in Maribor. Employing an analytical approach, the app tracks visits and other metrics to enhance user experience, diversify offer and ultimately attract more visitors in the future.

The European Capital of Culture 2025 in Nova Gorica and Gorizia stands as a remarkable testament to cross-border collaboration, offering a prime opportunity to showcase Slovenia as a vibrant cultural destination. "Packing the opposites into one day!" encapsulates the essence of this endeavor, illustrating how the ordinary can transcend into the extraordinary, and the small can evolve into the monumental. Andreja Repič Agrež from GO! 2025 elaborated on the GO 2025! Borderless initiative, outlining the extensive preparations for this ambitious project. After thirteen years, this monumental undertaking returns to Slovenia, promising a fusion of seemingly incompatible elements into a harmonious symbiosis. 

Strengthening cooperation between arts and culture and tourism will be key

Cultural tourism, renowned for its sustainability, appeals to travelers seeking authentic experiences, a deep connection with local heritage, and a genuine immersion in artistic creativity. Visitors expect destinations to offer both global appeal and distinct cultural characteristics.

Embracing digitalization and new technologies can further enhance sustainability efforts by efficiently managing tourism data to alleviate congestion at popular sites and regulate tourist flows. Urban experiences, contemporary art, and innovative architecture are gaining on popularity among travelers, particularly during city breaks. The increase in city break tourism reflects a desire for unique encounters and meaningful interactions with local residents, fostering a shared exploration of urban landscapes.

Participants unanimously agreed that Slovenia holds the potential to emerge as a distinctive destination, boasting a modern, alluring, yet undiscovered arts and culture scene. With its top artists, a year-round calendar of inspiring events, and a wealth of cultural heritage, Slovenia is poised to captivate visitors 365 days a year.

The Guidelines to support the marketing of "Art and Culture" for 2024 and 2025 were developed under the leadership of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) in cooperation with representatives of the relevant ministries, prominent cultural institutions, tourist destinations and the Association of Historic Towns. The main purpose of the strategic document is to identify the content pillars and themes, as well as cultural tourism products and experiences for the needs of the communication and marketing activities of the STB. The document also provides important guidelines for the leading destinations, which strengthens the cross-sectoral integration of tourism and culture. 

Cover photo: Dubravka Kalin, Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of Culture; Neja Petek, Nea Culpa Agency; Blaž Peršin, Director of the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana; Barbara Koželj Podlogar, Director General of the Directorate for Creativity at the Ministry of Culture, MSc. Maja Pak Olaj, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board; Nataša Bučar, Director of the Slovenian Film Centre; Andreja Repič Agrež, Director of GO! 2025; Mateja Hafner Dolenc, Secretary General of the Association of Historic Towns of Slovenia; MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana Tourism, and Jure Struc, Director of Maribor Tourism. 

Photo by: Siniša Kanižaj for STB

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