The Slovenia Times

Tourism, retail severely affected by coronavirus


The country switched to a lockdown mode on 16 March, when a temporary government ban on selling goods and services entered into force.

As a result, the number of domestic tourists decreased by 69% and the number of nights fell by 62%. The drop for tourists from abroad was even sharper, at 78% and 71%, respectively.

The number of tourists from Italy, one of Europe's major coronavirus hotspots, plummeted by as much as 85%.

Although the lockdown in March was in place only slightly more than the last two weeks, it affected tourism figures for the entire first quarter.

The January-to-March period recorded a 28% drop in tourist arrivals over the same period in 2019 and a 23% decrease in nights.

While 2019 was the sixth consecutive record year for Slovenia's tourism industry, the Slovenian Tourist Board expects a 60-70% slump this year in the best-case scenario, that is if restriction easing begins as early as June, and several years needed for full recovery.

With most of the shops except for groceries closing on 16 March, retail revenue was down 13.5% in real terms in March over February and 15.1% over March last year.

Contributing the most to the annual drop was a 22.5% drop in the revenue of non-food shops and a 25.65% drop in specialised shops selling fuels, that is petrol stations. Groceries meanwhile posted a rise of 4.8% in real terms.

Retail revenue was by 7% lower in the first three months than in the same period last year, with service stations seeing the biggest drop of 14.4%.

The service stations were affected the most in all three comparisons: revenue dropped by 35.5% over February, by 37.4% over March 2019 and by 14.3% in the first three months compared to the same period last year.


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