The Slovenia Times

Slovenian Tourism on Display



es of Slovenian tourism industry and about 170 foreign guests from 20 different countries," stated Livija Kovač-Kostantinovič, the Communications Manager for Slovenia at the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO).

What does SIW Mean for Slovenian Tourism?
The main goal of SIW is to promote Slovenia as a tourist destination and to encourage the interest of potential foreign tour operators, tourist and travel agencies in Slovenian tourism services. However, SIW is also an ideal opportunity for reviewing the state of the Slovenian tourism and all the promotional activities taken in the recent year. According to Dimitrij Piciga, the director of the STO, SIW is a great opportunity for honest discussion about Slovenian tourism as well as why some businesses are so successful and others are not: "From open communication with foreign buyers, we can get clear instructions for the future development of Slovenian; Slovenian tourist providers can also gain "know how" for the promotion and marketing of their tourist destinations or products."

In spite of SIW keeping its concept the same as in previews years, some essential innovations will be seen. According to Piciga, "While all foreign attendees are warmly welcome, this year we will devote special attention to a select group of them: the especially interesting markets of Scandinavia, Great Britain and Germany. We are planning to do the same with Mediterranean countries for 2008.

The other innovation is that the main focus of SIW this year will be on the meetings and presentations segment of particular tourist services, which will be presented on a post-convention excursion around Slovenia." On a one-day and two three-day excursions around Slovenia, attendees will be able to experience the Slovenian environment and get a firsthand look the diversity of Slovenian tourism services.

Experiencing Authentic Slovenia
Modern trends in tourism go toward new types of "experience" tourism, which is replacing traditional ones. Nowadays, tourists are not satisfied only with seeing new tourist destinations; they want to experience something more. They do not consider the number of countries they visited, the hotels they slept in, or kilometres travelled as the most important aspect of the journey. The feeling of satisfaction gained by experiencing something new, something different is the added value of the tourist destination. Tourist destinations offering more different experiences are more attractive to visitors and, therefore, are at a great competitive advantage. This is a great opportunity for Slovenian tourism and, for that reason, the concept of SIW is also based on this philosophy.

Starting with a welcome dinner and concert in Piran on the first day, the majority of the events will take place on the Slovenian coast but, significantly, outside the hotels. On the second day, previously arranged one-to-one meetings between Slovenian tourist providers and foreign buyers will take place inside, in the Portus Congress Centre in Portorož. The formal part of the event will conclude with a fishing party on "Fishing Night" in Izola. "We wanted to incorporate local specialities and tradition to the final event and offer to our guest special experience that they won't easily forget," stated Piciga.

This Year a Little Bit Earlier
With the purpose of increasing the number of signed contracts on mutual cooperation between providers and foreign buyers, this year the date of SIW has been moved from October to June. "Tour operators and tourist agencies usually decide on placing new destinations in the next year arrangements by the middle of the current year; that's why we decided to organize our exchange a little earlier," said Kovač-Kostantinovič.

Dimitrij Piciga, the director of the STO, about the future tourism trends in Slovenia: "All global tourist operators want to add Slovenia on their tours around Europe, as a new, fresh destination between Venice and Vienna. I think that is a great recognition as Slovenia as a tourist destination. On the other hand, we are aware that the number of tourists visiting Slovenia for 10 to 14 days will decrease. That's why we want Slovenia to become a "short break" destination, with tourists staying in our country from two to four days. The fact is these tourists spend much more."


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