The Slovenia Times

Slovenia's tourism figures hit all-time high in 2023

Tourists in Ljubljana's old town. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Slovenia's tourist destinations attracted more than six million visitors last year, who spent more than 16 million nights at the country's accommodation facilities in what is a new record. The capital Ljubljana saw the most substantial growth.

"2023 was the most successful year in terms of tourism, with 2% more overnight stays than in 2019, the previous record year for tourism," the Statistics Office said in releasing the figures on 25 January.

Compared to 2022, visitor numbers were up by 5.5% to 6.19 million and the nights they spent rose by 3.5% to 16.13 million. Foreign tourists accounted for 72% of all overnight stays.

Most visitors from Germany

Local tourists spent 17% fewer nights than the year before, and foreign visitors spent 15% more. Compared to 2019, the figures are up for both Slovenian and foreign visitors, by 4% and 2%, respectively.

Most foreign visitors came from Germany. They spent 1.9 million nights accounting for 16% of all spent by foreigners.

Other major source markets for Slovenian tourism were Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Croatia.

Compared with 2022, 27% more Croatian tourists, 18% more Italian tourists, 16% more Czech tourists and 11% more Austrian tourists were recorded.

Mountains and capital top destinations

Mountain municipalities and the capital were the most popular destinations. Ljubljana saw the highest annual increase in the number of visitors (20%).

Urban municipalities in general recorded an increase of almost 14%, and mountain municipalities also recorded a rise, but the number of visitors decreased in spa and coastal towns.

All types of municipalities except those outside the largest towns and in coastal municipalities saw an increase in nights spent at accommodation facilities. The most were recorded in mountain municipalities.

Tourists mostly stayed in hotels, but the largest year-on-year increase was recorded at private rooms, apartments and houses, followed by hotels and apartment complexes.

Strong growth in December

In December tourist accommodation facilities reported 329,000 arrivals and 795,000 nights spent, an increase of 10.6% and 8.7% on the same month in 2022.

Foreign tourists accounted for 216,000 arrivals and almost 493,000 nights in what is a 14% year-on-year increase. Thirty percent of those nights were spent in Ljubljana.

Tourism shows resilience

The record figures were hailed by Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) with Han noting they were attained despite floods hitting the country in peak season.

This shows the tourism industry's resilience, he said, pointing to a major investment cycle to upgrade tourism facilities, including mountain resorts, over the past two years.

STO head Maja Pak Olaj said Slovenian tourism recovered faster than the European and global tourism last year. The STO expects a slight growth this year as well.

The STO highlighted the record number of American tourists last year. Their arrivals exceeded those of 2022 by 31%.


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