Tourism reaches new records
Ljubljana, 5 December - Slovenian tourism had a record 2016 as both arrivals and nights rose by almost a tenth, with ten million nights being recorded for the first time ever. 2017 shaped up even better: in the first nine months of the year arrivals rose 14% year-on-year and nights already approached ten million. The rapid pace of growth has prompted some concern about overcrowding, but more importantly it triggered deliberations on how to shift the entire sector from mass tourism to premium services in a bid to prevent overcrowding and generate more tourism revenue. The new national tourism strategy under consideration projects an increase in revenue generated by foreign tourists to between EUR 3.7bn and EUR 4bn by 2021 from EUR 2.3bn in 2016. There are several factors behind the record figures: the general economic upswing, Slovenia being seen as a safe destination, and significantly expanded traditional and digital marketing. Most notably, Slovenia was partner country in the culture and convention segment of the ITB Berlin, the world's largest travel industry convention. The government also adopted a new bill on the promotion of tourism that will create new revenue sources for promotion and is expected to raise the budget of the Slovenian Tourist Board.