The Slovenia Times

Boutique Tourism in Slovenia


American Chamber of Commerce- AmCham Slovenia

Slovenia is an exceptional country. Its natural beauty is invaluable and it constantly ranks among the most attractive and friendly countries. On the global map, we are recognised as a green, active, and healthy country and the word about our cuisine is spreading to the world. All of this is also reflected in the number of tourists, who visit our country in bigger and bigger numbers, to come to a place where you can dive in the sea and hike in the hills in a single day. All of these are advantages that Slovenia needs to take advantage of. The government is set to promote boutique tourism, which attracts more demanding guests, as a strategic goal. Some tourist destinations in Slovenia, such as the Goriška Brda, have already begun. There is still a lot of work to be done in this area, and Slovenia has a lot of options only we'll be able to take advantage of them. However, there are also some necessary adjustments to be made. Slovenia, which lies in the heart of Europe, will have to update its transportation infrastructure. Creating better flight connections, rehabilitating motorways, and improving rail transport are necessary. Some tourist areas are overburdened, which also causes inconvenience for locals. Therefore we want to encourage the state and local municipalities to come up with strategic goals to regulate the situation for both locals and tourists, which will be additional stimulation for tourists and investors.

British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce- BSCC

The United Kingdom is one of the key markets for Slovenian tourism. In 2018 the growth in British tourists coming to Slovenia was 9 percent in arrivals and 10 percent in overnight stays compared to 2017. British tourists perceive Slovenia as a destination different from mass tourism, a new gem for discovering nature, experiences, and offering value for the money. We're happy to announce that British Airways is returning to Ljubljana with flights from London Heathrow, starting on 15 July, and hope this will bring more tourists looking for 5-star experiences. The opening of new hotels in Ljubljana in the near future will cater to the much-needed business and tourism in the capital. We also look forward to more investment in the renovation of state-owned hotels in other destinations around the county, especially Bled and Portorož, two favorite destinations for British tourists.

The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce and Industry- AHK Slowenien

Slovenia is an important destination for the German foreign direct investment and tourism is certainly a sector it flourishes in. According to the survey, "Economic situation and Investment climate 2019," which the AHK Slovenia traditionally carried out this spring, Slovenia is still on a dynamic growth course and the level of investment continues to rise. Germany is the most important investor considering the original countries of origin of FDI with a total of €1.86 billion. In terms of the tourism sector, investment in boutique tourism is among the most profitable hospitality investments. In this direction, German private equity investors are looking for opportunities while taking advantage of the country's geographical position in Europe as well.

Luxembourg-Slovenian Business Club (LSBC)

By Iztok Petek, Nataša Zajec

LSBC has the first-hand experience with high-end tourism. In 2015 and 2016, we co-created BIG BERRY, one of the first luxury glamping resorts in Slovenia, located in White Carniola. The project gained a lot of attention worldwide, but there was a constant struggle with the simplest question "How will people get to the resort due to the poor accessibility of the destination?". Our answer was by using various alternatives like shuttle services to Ljubljana, Zagreb, and the Venice Airport, and even organizing private transfers with Big Berry's own car fleet. The problem was solved but it took a lot of time and money. We have learned a lesson that no matter how good your destination is, direct connection with your target market(s) is an important factor that will affect the volume of arrivals to a particular region. LSBC has been lobbying for years for a direct flight from Luxembourg to Ljubljana. Research in Luxembourg has been done and we got the same feedback, with no direct flight people will not come. Luxembourg, with the highest purchasing power in the EU and high interest for alpine destinations, is one of the most underestimated markets. This year, together with Kompas, we made the first step towards with promotion at the VAKANZ Luxembourg annual tourism fair and found that the interest is genuine. We are aware that a new flight connection also brings a risk of empty seats to the carrier, therefore it has to go hand-in-hand with the better promotion of the destination, not just for leisure but for business travel.

Italian Trade Agency (ICE)

Slovenia is growing and developing its tourism industry, but there is still desire for more five-star tourist destinations. Is Slovenia interesting for this type of foreign investment, and where do you see opportunities?

Slovenia has much to offer. Italians love Slovenia: traditionally they have always been in first place for number of arrivals and overnight stays. According to the latest data from the National Statistics Office, in the first three months of this year over 104,300 Italian tourists arrived to the country. This figure places Italy at the top among foreign tourists, before Croatians (79,700 arrivals), Austrians (59,600) and the Hungarians (close to 26,000).

Italians are also in first place for overnight stays, with over 224.200 people, followed by Croatians, Austrians, and Germans. Why is this love continuing to grow? Slovenia is a European country where the Alpine, Mediterranean, and Karst landscapes-all of which are familiar to Italian people-are really close to each other and easily reachable. But tourism is becoming more and more sophisticated, and the demand for a more tasteful and refined concept vacation is in constant growth. Millennials especially seem to be in search of luxury accommodations that have a modern flavour and a sophisticated but, at the same time, functional atmosphere. They are travellers that are always connected-they like to find a design that is an elegant, technological, and comfortable environment.

Slovenia is the perfect place to invest in small, elegant, and unique boutique hotels in a natural environment, close to Alpine sport locations, on the coast, and where you can emphasize the flavour of the regional cuisine.

Kazakh - Slovenian Business Club - KSBC

Slovenia is a tourist pearl!

By Dejan Štancer, President of the Kazakhstan-Slovenian Business Club and the regional representation of the national company Kazakh Invest in Central and South-Eastern Europe

Yes, you have read it right, Slovenia is a pearl. Our guests, who we invite more and more every year, tell us this repeatedly. It is true that there are too many people in Kazakhstan and Central Asia and the Caucasus who still do not know where Slovenia is. They may not know a thing about it, but it is also true that sincere smiles from those who have visited Slovenia are invaluable. It is usually difficult to stop them when they talk about their tourist experiences in Slovenia. However we shouldn't be fooled by this. We have a fantastic country and are mostly very friendly and helpful people. Security is at an enviable level, which is of utmost importance for tourism growth. Prices are generally acceptable and no tourist complains much about them. What sticks out a mile and hinders the faster tourism growth is the airport infrastructure. There is only one airport in the country, which also has connections problems, and lately there have been problems with the national air carrier. We have less to offer wealthy guests, those with really deep pockets, that's why they do not come to Slovenia. It is the same with investors who would like to develop high-end and boutique-style tourism. Fortunately, we can notice that things change for the better. Investors' interest in Slovenian tourism is growing, but we certainly should not fall asleep in the laurels of growth. We constantly need to be aware that tourism is the fastest growing segment of the world economy. In this context, we should follow trends, try even to be trendsetters, and develop the infrastructure that is absolutely necessary for growth. And, perhaps the most important, we need to continue to invest in human resources. Without them Slovenia will not become the tourist pearl that it truly is.


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