The Slovenia Times

Bled to focus on re-directing tourist flows


The new head of the Bled Tourism Board will therefore focus on re-directing tourist flows to ease the pressure on the small Alpine town.

Tomaž Rogelj, who takes over on 1 January, will focus in his tourism development strategy on ways to ease the pressure on the town centre and disperse the visitors of the area.

His team will send a strategy for managing tourism at Bled, a flagship of the Slovenian tourism, in the next eight-year period into public debate next month. "We'll try to preserve all the good things that Bled has to offer and carefully add contents we want to see in Bled."

The number of tourist stays in Bled is expected to reach one million this year and the hotels are fully booked for Christmas and New Year's holidays.

"Given the great numbers of visitors ... re-directing the flow of tourists and visitors will be one of our priorities," said Rogelj, who will succeed Eva Štravs Podlogar, now a state secretary at the economy ministry.

Problems with parking and traffic jams at the Alpine gem raised a lot of dust this summer after Bled Tourism Board deputy head Matjaž Berčon called on daily visitors, who are mostly Slovenians, to avoid the town in summer, which was met with public indignation.

Berčon latter explained that he did not wish to say that Slovenian guests were not welcome in Bled but merely warn them of traffic jams.

Rogelj counts on the planned construction of the northern and southern bypass in the coming years and additional parking spaces, including a new multi-storey car park. He also expects work on the lakeside promenade to conclude.

But until the entire infrastructure is built, Rogelj's team will have to look for temporary solutions. "We'll try to disperse tourist flows across the entire destination, for example by providing more information and increasing the number of traffic wardens," he said.

The long-term goal is to make both tourists as well as locals and businesses happy.

Bled with its unique natural assets, tradition and history will still strive to offer its visitors top-quality experience. But Rogelj warned that this must not be confused with elitism. "We want Bled to remain open to everyone," he said.

But he believes that due to its geographical restrictions, the town is definitely not suitable for mass tourism.


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