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Cultural Tourism is the Key to Attracting High-End Guests

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Cultural Tourism is the Key to Attracting High-End Guests

Ljubljana, 11 December 2018 – Within the scope of its marketing and promotion activities in 2018-2019, the Slovenian Tourist Board, which presents Slovenia as a destination for boutique 5-star experiences, highlights cultural tourism experiences. 2018, which will be another record year for Slovenian tourism, has been one of the most intensive and also successful years in the promotion and development of Slovenian tourism.

Past activities and the plans for the coming year were presented at the press conference held at the National Gallery in Ljubljana, on 11 December. It was held by representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Ministry of Culture, and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB). 

Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology, pointed out: "Tourism is one of the most interdisciplinary and multiplicative activities. It is closely connected to culture, to which quite a lot of attention is given on the strategic and promotional level. The ministries of the economy and culture with other stakeholders in tourism have together outlined the fifth star, which is the guarantee for quality offer infused with cultural stories, experiences, and also tastes. I am especially pleased that we managed to provide tourism with a specially adapted credit line that considers and addresses the specific features of the tourism business. SID banka provided EUR 160 million of refundable funds in the market, with a lower interest rate, longer maturity, and 5-year repayment moratorium. According to feedback received, this measure really hit the bull's eye."

Dejan Prešiček, Minister of Culture, was proud of the successful cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and Slovenian Tourist Board in connecting culture and tourism. Culture is, as he emphasised, the key element of identity and recognition of Slovenia as a tourist destination at the international level. He explained that, in the past, stakeholders searched for synergies between both policies and other various financial resources and possibilities for preserving cultural heritage and including cultural products in tourism. "We continued to be active this year, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, when we implemented the pioneering hackathon project entitled 'Kulturna pustolovščina na dlani' (Cultural Adventure at a Glance).All of the applications offered specific incentives for better promotion and experiences of cultural heritage in tourism," added the minister, emphasising that there is an abundance of challenges for the future, where intersectoral cooperation will be of key importance. "In 2021, Slovenia will be the European Region of Gastronomy. A year later, in 2022, Slovenia will be the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Together with the Slovenian Book Agency and external partners, we are preparing a comprehensive programme with connecting effects. It will enable the presentation of Slovenian culture, business and Slovenia as an attractive tourist destination. The European Capital of Culture project in Slovenia in 2025 is also a major challenge," emphasised minister Prešiček. 

Eva Štravs Podlogar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, emphasised: "Slovenians can be proud of an extremely rich national register of intangible cultural heritage and four recent entries of intangible heritage on UNESCOs List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This significantly contributes to the preservation of our heritage, while, at the same time, the entries mentioned represent an important source for many tourist experience stories that give Slovenian tourism its authenticity and 5-star tourist character and identity. Cities and culture are one of the key products in the current strategy and will have a special impact on the master plans of each macro destination. These will be prepared by the ministry next year, because we want to additionally promote the development of macro destinations. When addressing the diverse challenges of individual macro destinations, we will devote all efforts into mutual cooperation after all, tourism is people."  

"With innovative and intensive campaigns and a clear message, as well as with a high-quality offer oriented towards sustainable tourism, Slovenian tourism has achieved exceptional media attention and the attention of expert and general public this year. Slovenia's recognition was further significantly promoted by global digital campaigns, more than 140 business events in 30 countries, at which the Slovenian Tourist Board was present with Slovenian tourist companies, and participation at reputable sporting events, such as the Cycling Tour of Slovenia, which was broadcast on the international TV network, Eurosport. We hosted more than 450 representatives of the media and social media influencers as well as popular events, such as the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) and Connections Adventure, a British association of tour operators in luxury travel adventures, and we carried out a number of other activities. This year, within the scope of promotional activities, the Slovenian Tourist Board mainly focused on culture; in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and other institutions, we also implemented a number of joint projects, including the hackathon, which was held for the first time and focused on promoting solutions for greater competitiveness of cultural tourism assisted by new technologies," said Maja Pak, Director of the STB.

Culture addresses high-end guests who search for special experiences that enrich their lives, and also contributes to deseasonalisation and directing tourist flows. In accordance with the Strategy of Sustainable Development of Slovenian Tourism 2017–2021, the Slovenian Tourist Board defined culture as the main theme of promotion and included it in various activities. 

More than 140 events in 30 countries

This year, the Slovenian Tourist Board carried out more than 140 events and 15,000 meetings in 30 countries, where cultural tourism was in the forefront. It was also highlighted at major international trade shows such as the ITB Berlin and the WTM London, at the Slovenian Incoming Workshop SIW, Bled Strategic Forum, and Days of Slovenian Tourism. Culture was also the main topic at the Alpe Adria Trail meetings discussing the paths between nature and culture, Connections Adventure, a business meeting focusing on luxury travel, and the annual Virtuoso conference in Venice, attended only by the most important and successful members. Culture was presented in an animated way, i.e. in cooperation with the Association of Historical Cities of Slovenia, Ljubljana Castle, cultural icons, and other stakeholders.

The Slovenian Tourist Board and the Slovenian Film Centre promoted Slovenia as an interesting film destination at events in Cannes and London. In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the Slovenian Tourist Board carried out design workshops for tourist experiences in culture, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and the Ministry of Culture, it carried out the hackathon entitled Kulturna pustolovščina na dlani (Cultural Adventure at a Glance), which was used to improve experiences with the help of new technologies. 

With regard to culture, the Slovenian Tourist Board carried out and supported 68 study tours for foreign tour operators and tourist agents (more than 500 of them). Business audiences were able to learn about cultural tourism opportunities via newsletters, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

More than 3000 media publications worth more than 10 million Euro

The Slovenian Tourist Board and its partners hosted more than 450 foreign media and social media influences, and carried out a so-called instameet. There were more than 3000 foreign media publications recorded, and, if seen as ad space, they would total to more than EUR 10 million. The culture theme was included in almost all study tours for the media and influences. There were 50 publications on Slovenian culture recorded on a monthly basis on various markets.

Our social media profiles have more than 1.4 million followers 

The media were informed about cultural tourism through monthly newsletters, wider audiences received information via social media, where the main Slovenian tourism media, managed by the Slovenian Tourist Board, have more than 1.4 million followers. There were more than 500 publications prepared on this topic, and they reached more than 10 million users. Culture was also highlighted in the TTA newsletter for the Slovenian public (around 80 publications) and in the Tur!zem professional journal.

With a new video and photo material, the Slovenian Tourist Board also extended its media library within the portal www.slovenia.info, intended for the promotion of Slovenian tourism. 

More than 2.3 million users of the Slovenia.info website

Cultural tourism was also included in other activities of content digital marketing. In 2018, the main Slovenian tourism portal www.slovenia.info recorded more than 2.3 million users, of which 88% were from abroad. Culture-related content was well-visited, pages dedicated to this topic had 304,077 users and 415,594 website visits, mostly by users from Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, the USA, the UK, and Spain. 

The reach and users in digital marketing campaigns are rated in hundred millions 

It was possible to reserve tourist packages that included culture within the global digital campaign Slovenia.Make New Memories, which was held from 1 March to 15 November 2018 in 17 countries. It reached more than 140 million ad displays, mostly on Facebook and Instagram, more than 8 million video views on YouTube and more than 400,000 articles read on the most important global portals.

With the VISIT FOR A DAY, REMEMBER FOR A LIFETIMEcampaign held from 15 February to 15 May, the Slovenian Tourist Board invited transit guests to visit some cultural sites (Ptuj, Maribor, Lipica, Predjama Castle, Postojna Cave). The campaign reached 4.9 million users via the TripAdvisor portal, and 6 million users via social media.

Culture was also highlighted in the Two Million Reasons Why We Feel Slovenia campaign, which ran from June to September on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and the www.slovenia.info portal, requesting that people share recommendations for seeing and experiencing mostly less known destinations and products by using the keyword

#ifeelsLOVEnia. The campaign generated 500,000 new posts on social media and reached over 100 million users.  

More than one million copies of printed materials were published

For the purpose of promotion at various events, the Slovenian Tourist Board published more than one million publications in 19 languages, which in the past two years especially focused on culture: Cultural Experiences, Filming in Slovenia, Cities of Culture, EDEN, European Destinations of Excellence in Slovenia etc. There were also some promotional products, such as colouring books, bags, and folders, which were designed with a focus on culture.   

Culture significantly contributed to positioning Slovenia as a destination for 5-star experiences and to the attention of global media

For its promotional activities related to culture, the Slovenian Tourist Board received distinguished international awards: the award for the second place was given by the Golden City Gate, which has awarded multimedia promotion of tourism for the past 18 years, i.e. for the promotion video Feel Pure Love and the publication Cultural Experiences. For the German version of the publication Cities of Culture, the Slovenian Tourist Board received the bronze Werbe Grand Prix award, which is one of the most significant awards in promotional materials on the German-speaking market. This year, the excellence of communication tools of the Slovenian Tourist Board was also awarded at the international WorldMediaFestival | TOURISM in Hamburg, i.e. for the global digital campaign Slovenia. Make New Memories., for which the Slovenian Tourist Board received the intermedia-globe GOLD | TOURISM award for a longer, and the intermedia-globe SILVER | TOURISM award for the shorter version of the promotional video Slovenia Impressions: Feel Pure Love. At the  WTM London travel trade show, the Slovenian Tourist Board received the gold WTM International Travel & Tourismaward in the Best in Wellness category for the Healthy Waters campaign.

In Slovenia, the Two Million Reasons Why We Feel Slovenia campaign received the Zlati Sempler award at SEMPL 2018, while the Cycling Tour of Slovenia was named the best SPORTO sporting event.

In 2019, Culture will continue being a part of various marketing and promotional activities of the Slovenian Tourist Board, such as events, study tours, global content digital campaigns, and promotional materials, and it will further intensify the inclusion of gastronomy that will follow culture as the main topic. For this purpose, the Slovenian Tourist Board has prepared the 2019–2023 Action Plan for the Development and Marketing of Gastronomy, and it will actively cooperate in the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 project and continue forming ties with the ambassadors of Slovenian gastronomy. 

Another record year for Slovenian tourism

According to the data provided by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, from January, up to and including October, Slovenian tourism recorded more than 5 million arrivals and more than 13.6 million overnight stays. Therefore, by the end of October, we recorded more overnight stays compared to the entire last year, showing that 2018 was another record year for Slovenian tourism. Considering the shares of overnight stays, the top foreign markets were Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Hungary, and Croatia, followed by Czechia, Serbia, and Belgium. 

According to our estimate, this year will end with a total of more than 5.6 million arrivals and a total of more than 15.2 million overnight stays. According to our estimates, we expect that the number of foreign guests this year will exceed 4.2 million and the number of their overnight stays will reach almost 11 million.

The value of travel exports from January to September is EUR 2.12 billion or 11.6% more than in the same period last year. 

In its report for the third quarter, the European Travel Commission (ETC) highlighted Slovenia as the fastest growing European destination in 2018 with a 23.5% increase in arrivals and 32% increase in overnight stays. With regard to prognoses and expectations, Slovenia will therefore note another record year in tourism.This was surely in part due to its sustainable orientation, realised via the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. In merely three years, the scheme has motivated 64 tourist destinations, providers of services, agencies, and sites to acquire the Slovenia Green label;at the 96thETC General Assembly meeting in Antwerp, the scheme was presented as an excellent case of designing specific measures in the field of sustainable tourism promotion and as the model for designing the European Green Tourism Scheme. 

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