Four percent in tourist arrivals is not much of an increase given how competitive the current global travel and tourism market is, especially with the ongoing global economic downturn. But, for Slovenia, the 4 percent increase is proof that its tourism industry is heading towards greater heights.
According to the Slovenia Tourist Board (STB), tourist accommodation facilities registered 2.4 million tourist arrivals and 7.4 million overnight stays by the end of October 2008. The overall number of overnight stays in the first ten months of 2008 was up 2 percent over the same period in 2007; the number of overnight stays by domestic tourists was up 5 percent, while the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists was unchanged.
The global financial crisis, whose effects can also be felt in global and European tourist flows, is clearly reflected in the current statistical data of Slovenian tourism on tourist arrivals and overnight stays by foreign visitors, added the tourist board.
According to provisional data from Statistical office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS), Slovenian accommodation facilities registered 2 percent fewer foreign visitors and 7 percent fewer overnight stays by foreigners in October 2008 compared to the same month last year. At the same time, however, Slovenia registered a two-digit increase in October in the number of domestic visitors and their overnight stays: arrivals and overnight stays were up 14 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The latter is consistent with global tourism forecasts, which predicted that people would be more likely to take their holidays in their home country.
The data show that Slovenian tourism is affected by the financial crisis, as the statistical data are below expectations. The STB said it is well aware of this fact, so in order to curb the negative effects of the financial crisis it has adopted several key measures on which future market communication activities for the promotion of Slovenia and Slovenian tourism will be based. “The measures will aim primarily at including new prospective markets among the existing target markets, and in key markets for Slovenian tourism the STB will be carrying out activities and market communication campaigns to ensure that the results achieved so far are maintained,” the tourist board announced.
The total number of arrivals in the first nine months of 2008 has increased by 3% over the same period in 2007. According to the statistics, Italy (17%) is the leading foreign country, followed by Germany (13%), Austria (12%) and Croatia (6%).
Slovenia registered 61% more visitors from Japan and 36% more visitors from Russia over the nine months. An upward trend in arrivals was also recorded among the Scandinavian countries (Norway +30%, Denmark +20%, Finland +12%) and the Benelux states (Luxembourg +114%, Belgium +11%, The Netherlands +9%), which remain among the most important prospective markets for Slovenian tourism in the future. (Slovenia Tourist Board)
Photo: Ukom.go.si, Visitljubljana.si
By Nelson Alcantara