Visitors to Slovenia often praise the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of this green, active and healthy country.
It’s a reputation that has seen tourism in Slovenia contributing to approximately 13 per cent of the country’s GDP and one in eight Slovenian employees working in the tourism sector, which is above the European and global average.
This hasn’t always been the case.
Slovenia’s fight for independence 25 years ago saw it placed on the European map as a new state, however the perceived instability in the region saw foreign tourist numbers drop by 73 per cent and the country faced consequent problems in 1999 after the NATO bombings in Serbia and during the global financial crisis.
Until 1999, the number of overnight stays of domestic tourists significantly exceeded foreign tourists, but post 1999 foreign tourist numbers soared.
In the 1992-2015 period, domestic tourists increased by 62 per cent, while foreign tourists increased by 339.1 per cent, with the majority arriving after 1999.
Today Slovenia is positioned as a green, active and healthy destination with a focus on developing innovative, boutique and sustainable tourist products.
The tourist board’s main objectives are promoting the green scheme and encouraging businesses within the sector to cooperate and establish relationships with key stakeholders for mutual benefit.
Ultimately, the common green objective is to increase the recognisability of Slovenia as a green, active, healthy and safe boutique destination while generating €3 billion annual income from tourism, which means at least 6 percent annual growth.
Since the declaration of Slovenian independence, the tourists responsible for the highest number of overnight stays come from Italy, Austria and Germany, however in the past few years the country has enjoyed visits from an increasing number of overseas countries such as the UK and Asia.
In 2015, the Slovenian Tourist Board saw a record breaking ten million overnight stays for the first time ever.