The challenge lies in tourist products with higher added value and deseasonalisation
The challenge lies in tourist products with higher added value and deseasonalisation
The increase in arrivals and overnight stays in Slovenian tourism was exceptionally good in the first seven months. Current results indicate that this will be another record year. The efforts of the Slovenian tourist sector and the continued promotion of Slovenia as a green, active and healthy destination for five-star experiences carried out by the Slovenian Tourist Board have made our country a desirable and attractive global tourist destination. However, all those working in tourism still face many challenges.
“Slovenia is an all-year-round destination.” – Eva Štravs Podlogar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
“The high summer tourist season is about to end, as tomorrow is the first day of school. But tourist activities will not stop, as Slovenia is an attractive tourist destination all year round. Information on tourist visits to Slovenia for the seven months that we received are good and encouraging, as they predict a record-breaking year for tourism. The increase in the number of arrivals and overnight stays of tourists is not random, but a result of the successful promotion of Slovenian tourism domestically and abroad, increased activities in the tourism sector, and significant measures and activities carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in cooperation with partners,” said Eva Štravs Podlogar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, at the press conference held by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) on 31 August. “Tourism is an incredibly important economic activity for Slovenia, in which innovativeness, cooperation, and integration are of major significance. Only with an innovative and creative approach and with cooperation between the tourism sector, local communities, ministries, and civil society will we be able to create attractive high-quality tourist products that meet the expectations of increasingly demanding guests. In the Strategy for the Growth of Slovenian Tourism that is being drafted in cooperation with the tourism sector, we also set high goals and planned measures to tackle the challenges faced by Slovenian tourism – achieving higher added value and better capacity usage, new impetus for investments in tourism, and higher quality services, which can be achieved only with the help of better motivated human resources. This year’s growth is essentially only a new challenge for the future, and it creates responsibility for the sustainable development of Slovenian tourism that will bring satisfaction and pride to Slovenians and our guests.”
“The green scheme of Slovenian Tourism plays an important role.” – Renata Martinčič, Director-General of the Tourism Directorate at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
Among other things, Renata Martinčič, Director-General of the Tourism Directorate at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, stressed the following: “The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology is making efforts to create a suitable business environment for the successful operation of the tourism sector. For this reason, when drafting measures and activities, we cooperate closely with all stakeholders in tourism, particularly with the tourism sector. Considering that tourism is a distinct field covered by multiple ministries, we also cooperate with all of the key ministries. Therefore, some essential laws covering hospitality and tourism and a framework strategic document are currently in the phase of inter-ministerial coordination. We are also holding consultation sessions and workshops to exchange opinions and experience on various topics of interest. Two important events will be held in September. At the first event – the Panel on Tourism at the Bled Strategic Forum – we will discuss the significance and regulation of the sharing economy in tourism with international experts. At the International Trade Fair (MOS), we will discuss the significance of human resource management in tourism and hospitality, and present to the tourism sector and to destinations public contracts in the field of tourism that are planned for this year. The Slovenian Tourist Board will present the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. I am convinced that, as we cooperate and generate positive energy, we will together contribute to the effective development of Slovenian tourism and to it becoming a successful competitor in the international market.”
“Slovenia - a ‘green boutique global destination for high-end visitors seeking diverse and active experiences, peace, and personal benefits’ and on promoting the development of sustainable tourism.” - Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB)
“This season has shown us that there is a need for active strategic and operational destination management, a focus on sustainable development, work on products with higher added value, deseasonalisation, geographic dispersion, and tourist experience management,” said Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO). “We are very aware of these challenges in Slovenian tourism, and for this reason they are defined in the 2017–2021 Strategy for the Sustainable Growth of Slovenian Tourism. In accordance with the Strategy, the activities of the Slovenian Tourist Board in the next few years will be focused on increasing Slovenia's recognisability as a ‘green boutique global destination for high-end visitors seeking diverse and active experiences, peace, and personal benefits’ and on promoting the development of sustainable tourism.”
Love Culture and Keep Slovenia Green
Pursuant to the new Strategy, the Slovenian Tourist Board is establishing a system of four macro-regions, within which developmental and educational activities with destination management organisations are also being intensified in addition to promotional activities. Cultural tourism will be particularly highlighted as the main promotional topic, while activities in the field of convention, spa, and sports tourism will also be intensively carried out. The development of green and innovative products with higher added value will also be promoted, and the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, within the scope of which more than 40 destinations, nature parks, providers, and travel agencies have committed to responsible and balanced development, will be upgraded. The I Feel Slovenia brand architecture will be established and a new communications platform developed. The focus will be on key markets and key target groups. Enhancing digital marketing and upgraded business events are also among the important activities of the Slovenian Tourist Board.
The Slovenian Tourist Board celebrates 2nd anniversary
On 1 August 2015, the Slovenian Tourist Board once again became an independent national tourist organisation for planning and carrying out policies for marketing Slovenia’s comprehensive tourist offer and, as such, it focused its promotional activities on digital content marketing in accordance with global trends. The main project, which is still ongoing, is the global digital campaign titled Slovenia. Make New Memories., which has thus far reached 70 million people through websites, and more than 145 million social network users through 444 million advertisement displays in 15 markets and in 16 languages. Last December, the Slovenian Tourist Board launched its new central Slovenian tourism website www.slovenia.info; it has been visited by more than 1.75 million new users, and in the past two years, the website reached 10 million users in total. The increase in the number of social network followers of the Slovenian Tourist Board has also been consistent: on FB by 330% (almost 458,000 followers), by 4845% on Instagram (86,000), and by 2087% on Twitter (37,651).
Slovenia in major international media
The exposure in well-established media outlets is also extremely important. In the past two years, the Slovenian Tourist Board has hosted almost 900 foreign journalists and so-called influencers whose publications in outlets such as the National Geographic Traveller, Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Vogue, Forbes, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Independent, La Parisienne, Huffington Post, Condé Nast Traveller, La Republicca, Wall Street Journal, Le Figaro, Harper`s Bazaar, Le Voyage, Feinschmecker etc., and in various blogs and on social networks have made a considerable contribution to the greater recognisability of Slovenia and its tourism. The broadcast of the Tour of Slovenia cycle race and advertising on the Eurosport TV station also contributed to this. The race, which highlighted the beauty of Slovenia, was seen by 113 million viewers.
More than 140 business events, 13,000 business meetings – Slovenia goes global!
The Slovenian Tourist Board approached this project in partnership with the Slovenian tourism sector and destinations, with which cooperation has generally been good in promoting Slovenian tourism. In the past two years, they were present in a total of 30 countries and at more than 140 business events, and 13,000 business meetings have been held. Slovenia’s “Convention & Culture Partner ITB Berlin 2017” with the globally most important tourism convention ITB Berlin and business events in Moscow and the USA have been particularly significant. In order to promote arrivals and overnight stays by US tourists, the Slovenian Tourist Board became a member of Virtuoso, a leading global travel association in luxury and boutique tourism. Some 70% of the agencies in this association are based in the USA, which is a key market for Slovenian tourism. When promoting tourism in this market, the Slovenian Tourist Board also cooperated with Ana Roš, the official ambassador of Slovenian tourism and the best female chef in the world.
The Slovenian Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Slovenian tourism sector, also gave presentations to foreign travel organisers in Slovenia. The Slovenian Incoming Workshop, which attracted just under 200 foreigners from 42 countries this year, is particularly significant. These participants attended more than 3000 business meetings in just one day.
Slovenia – the first Green Country in the world
In order to fulfil the promise of Slovenia as a “green, active and healthy destination”, the Slovenian Tourist Board developed a consistent policy in 2015 of promoting sustainable tourism through a national programme titled Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism and by introducing the Slovenia Green brand. This project was very successful domestically – following strict assessments based on international standards, the Slovenia Green brand was granted to 22 destinations, 13 providers, 3 parks, and 2 travel agencies. The Green Scheme also attracted much interest globally; Last year, Slovenia was declared the first Green Country in the World, and this year, the Slovenian Tourist Board received the prestigious National Geographic World Legacy Destination Leadership award.
Slovenia is popular – 12 % more overnight stays compared to the same period last year!
The excellent results of the efforts made by all members of the tourism sector have also been evident in the first seven months of this year. According to data provided by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, there have already been more than 6.6 million overnight stays by tourists, which accounts for 12% more compared to the same period last year. There have been more than 2.6 million arrivals, which is 15% more compared to the same period in 2016. There have also been 17% more overnight stays by foreigners, and 19% more arrivals by foreigners.
With regard to our key emitting markets, the information is as follows:
Germany: arrivals +30%, overnight stays + 28%; Austria: arrivals + 17%, overnight stays +14%; Italy: arrivals + 7%, overnight stays + 6%; the Netherlands: arrivals +36%, overnight stays +35%; France: arrivals +13%, overnight stays +18%; the Russian Federation: arrivals +28%, overnight stays +40%; the USA: arrivals +24%, overnight stays +18%; China: arrivals +48%, overnight stays + 48%; South Korea: arrivals +38%, arrivals +36%; the rest of Asia in total: arrivals +45%, overnight stays +32%.
Information on overnight stays by tourist area: spa municipalities: +4%; mountain municipalities: 19%; coastal municipalities: + 12%; Ljubljana: +15%; city municipalities: +11%; other municipalities: 22%.
The value of travel exports in the January–June 2017 period amounts to EUR 980 million, which accounts for a 5.6% increase compared to the same period last year.
We’re on the right track, but we need to keep moving!
At the press conference last week, Maja Pak also pointed out some important upcoming events. In these days, participants at the Bled Strategic Forum attempt to answer many questions and address the challenges of the sharing economy with the help of guests from abroad. Within the International Trade and Economy Fair (12–17 September, Celje), destinations, providers within the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, and innovative tourist products will be presented in the exhibition area of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology under the I Feel Slovenia brand and under the auspices of the Slovenian Tourist Board. This year’s Days of Slovenian Tourism (17–19 October, Kranjska Gora) will be devoted to developing an offer for five-star experiences. Among other things, the first all-Slovenian tourist hackathon will be carried out. This will be a competition to solve business challenges with the topic “Slovenia: Five-Star Experiences” and devising innovative solutions for the development of tourist products.