The Slovenia Times

More Foreign Spa Visitors in 2012


The number of overnight stays of foreign guests increased by 6.6% last year, while the number of Slovenians dropped by 6.4%.

The number of foreign and domestic guests at spas decreased by 1.5% over 2011 and their overnight stays were down 0.9%, the head of the Association of Slovenian Natural Spas Iztok Altbauer told press in Ljubljana on Monday.

"A general spirit of austerity is present on the domestic market," Termana Laško CEO Roman Matek said.

Apart from the economic and political crisis, the reason for the drop in the number of domestic visitors are limitations in the doctors' prescribing of health treatment at spas.

Patients account for 14% of all guests at spas.

Domestic guests generate about 54% of all overnight stays. Among the foreign tourists, the most frequent visitors are Italians, although their overnight stays were down by 8% last year.

The Italians are followed by Austrians, whose number also dropped in 2012, Croatians, and Germans, who increased their number of oversight stays by 13% in 2011 and by another 11% last year.

German tourists rank fifth and are followed by Russians, whose overnight stays rose by 30% last year. "Apparently we're a hit in Russia. If visas were abolished, the number of Russian visitors would at least double," Altbauer said.

Business results of spa operators are much more pessimistic though, Matek said, adding that Slovenian tourist facilities charged only about a third of what the Austrian do while their costs were comparable.

If the business results do not improve, there will be no chance for further investments in development and quality of service, Matek warned.

A lot depends on institutional framework and state measures, he added. "We don't want state aid. What we need is better promotion of Slovenia as a brand name, measures to make the country more accessible in terms of visa issuing, flight connections and general business environment."

Municipalities with spas are the flagship of the Slovenian tourism, accounting for 30% of all overnight stays in the country, Karmen Novarlič of the state agency Spirit Slovenija said.


More from Nekategorizirano