The American market is among the most important for Slovenian tourism. Slovenian tourism generates half of its visitors and overnight stays from key European markets, with Italy, Austria and Germany being the most significant.
Slovenia places America in a group of distant markets. In this group, the USA is in the top spot, explained the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak. She added that Slovenia recently intensified its promotional activities in the USA. She also added that there were a lot more questions being asked about Slovenia and Slovenian tourism by the foreign press lately. “We gladly took advantage of the media’s interest and publicity,” the spokesperson pointed out.
Last year Slovenia was visited by almost 78 thousand American guests, which is an 8.8 percent increase over the year before. According to an estimate made by the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, this year there will be a 5-6 percent increase in guests from the USA.
The number of overnight stays in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana has also been growing. “We link this with the fact that last year Ljubljana was placed on a list of destinations that are well worth visiting according to newspapers such as The Guardian and the Independent, as well as the Rough Guides. In 2014, Ljubljana was placed on such a list by the Lonely Planet guide, which had a very direct effect on the rise in the number of American guests. At the time we also increased the extent of our promotion and marketing in the USA,” stated the Managing Director of Tourism Ljubljana, Petra Stušek. She added that guests from the USA place in a high fourth spot when it comes to the number of overnight stays, just behind guests from Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Slovenia’s record breaking tourism results
Slovenia, with its population of two million people and its tourism promotion as a green, active and healthy destination, last year posted record high results in tourism. Nearly 4.2 million tourists visited Slovenia. Among Slovenia’s visitors were close to 3 million foreign guests, which is 11.4 percent more than in the previous year. The Director of the Slovenia Tourist Board, Maja Pak, explained further that the rise in the number of foreign visitors is well above the European average.
A wide variety of experiences for visitors
Although only 20,273 square kilometers in size, Slovenia lies on the crossroads of the Alpine, Pannonian, Mediterranean and Karst regions and therefore offers a wide variety of experiences. Visitors can breathe in the rejuvenating mountain air, enjoy the scenic coastline, magical forests, numerous spa centers, and natural and cultural sights, while still being able to feel the urban pulse of a city where medieval and modern architecture intertwine.
The important advantage of Slovenia in regard to tourism is the fact that, in a relatively small amount of space and in a comparatively short time, visitors are offered a truly wide array of experiences. It is possible to travel from one part of Slovenia to another in a matter of hours. This means that in the morning you could be having coffee by a lake under huge Alpine mountains, then in the afternoon you could be swimming in the pleasantly warm Adriatic Sea. To top it off, visitors appreciate the kindness of the welcome and the warm hospitality offered by the local people. In addition to beautiful nature, tourists also value Slovenian cuisine, while adrenalin junkies have countless options available.
More than 37 million visits to the Postojna Cave
The most famous Slovenian tourist attraction is the Postojna Cave with its precious dripstones - stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, dripstone curtains and other interesting shapes formed by the slow accumulation of limestone, drop by drop, through thousands of years as rainwater percolates through the rock. Next year will mark 200 years since the discovery of the inner sections of the Postojna Cave. The most famous tourist attraction in Slovenia has so far been visited by over 37 million people from all across the world.
One of the most recognizable Slovenian symbols is Bled, with its deep glacial Lake Bled, the island and the church perched upon it, where a church bell helps the wishes of guests from all parts of the world to come true. This picturesque town on the outskirts of the Slovenian Alps has long been an appealing destination for the whole world’s elite, with its numerous natural and cultural attractions.
In the winter and summer the popular Kranjska Gora is the place to be. Here the emphasis is on sports activities in nature. From hiking, cycling, and paragliding to sledding and skiing. Particularly mysterious and magical is the valley of the Soča River in the western region of Slovenia with the prettiest emerald river and a view all the way to the 2864m high Mt. Triglav, Slovenia’s tallest mountain, which also adorns the national coat-of-arms.
In contrast to the mountains of Slovenia is the country’s coastline, which despite being only 46.6 kilometers long offers many places that are worth visiting. The towns of Piran, Izola and Koper, with their medieval appearance, inspire the imagination of visitors.
Slovenian natural spas offer particularly rich, diverse and enjoyable experiences. They are located in almost every corner of Slovenia and each of them provides a different quality program.
Sevnica, the birthplace of the First Lady of the USA, on a world tourist map
Sevnica, with a population of around five thousand people, became a town and a municipal center in 1952 and has in the recent past been known mostly for important Slovenian export companies such as Lisca, Kopitarna and Tanin Sevnica, along with its production of sausages, honey and wine.
Following last year’s American presidential elections, the town is now famous as being the birthplace of the First Lady of the USA, Melania Trump, which has increased the interest of tourists, hikers and travelers from Slovenia and abroad in coming to visit it. The tourist program following in Melania’s footsteps has been a major success.For the development of town tourism, the local population is starting to use the First Lady’s name more and more as a trademark.
The Sevnica Public Institute for Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Activities therefore became the holder of the First Lady trademark, which covers products made exclusively by the local manufacturers. Under the trademark First Lady they market the Sevnica wine «Modra Frankinja», traditional packaged Sevnica sausage, pastry, skincare products, special flavored and shaped chocolates, apple slices in chocolate, herbal teas and unique pottery cups.
At the Institute they have also created a new Visit Sevnica graphic image and logo and made sure there’s an array of new tourist products made by local manufacturers available for purchase, ranging from postcards, t-shirts, and hats to pastry and souvenir magnets.
Sevnica locals aren’t the only ones proud of the First Lady, as the connection to her is also strongly emphasized in the capital Ljubljana. From April this year visitors to Ljubljana have been able to go on a guided tour following the First Lady’s high school footsteps. Melania successfully finished the high school of art and design and later dropped out of architecture studies in order to pursue a modeling career.