The Slovenia Times

Spa resorts upbeat ahead of May Day holidays


Slovenian spa resorts harbour much optimism ahead of the May Day holidays, saying that bookings so far are promising and that more are expected just before the holidays. Most of the guests will be from Slovenia, but the number of foreign visitors has been increasing this year.

"In this festive month, which has already seen the celebration of Easter, we are also preparing intensively for the May Day holidays. We are happy to report that the occupancy rates are very promising ... with some spas even being booked out," the head of the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas Iztok Altbauer told the STA.

During the May Day holidays, spas will host mainly guests from Slovenia, but many foreigners are expected as well, as their numbers have been on the rise this year.

"We have seen a big increase in foreign guests during Easter, especially from our main markets, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Serbia and Germany. And we also had a number of guests from promising markets that are increasingly important for us, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary," Altbauer added.

Overall, Slovenian spas saw a 90% increase in foreign guests and almost 80% more overnight stays in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, which also has to do with the fact that recovery from the Covid pandemic was still ongoing during this time last year, the official argued.

The number of domestic guests fell by 10% in the first three months year-on-year and overnight stays by 2%, "but we know that we had above average turnout by Slovenian guests last year also due to the tourism vouchers" subsidised by the government.

"This year we can see that things are back on track ... We are happy to see that, especially during the Easter holidays, guests from the Italian market, who we know are very cautious when it comes to making any changes, have literally woken up," added Altbauer. He feels this also bodes well for the summer season.

Slovenian thermal spas recorded 2,790,000 overnight stays in 2022, with spa municipalities accounting for almost a third of nights spent by tourists in the country. Domestic visitors accounted for 444,000 arrivals and foreigners for 321,000 for a total of 765,000, which is only 3.6% less than in 2019, the record year for tourism.

Slovenia has about two dozen spa and health resorts, 12 of which are officially certified. Most of them are located in the eastern parts of the country. The leading destinations include Terme Čatež, located near Brežice, Dolenjske Toplice near Novo Mesto, Thermana Laško on the banks of the Savinja River near Celje, Moravske Toplice in the north-east and Terme Olimia near the Croatian border.


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