The Slovenia Times

Minister Calls for Revolution in Promotion of Tourism


He announced the possibility of making the Slovenian Tourism Board an independent body again as soon as in March to help this cause.

Speaking at the opening of the Alpe-Adria tourism fair in Ljubljana on Wednesday, the minister noted that the number of overnight stays generated by tourists is declining, and that the industry is in the red financially.

"The relevant trends in tourism are negative," Počivalšek said, adding that "finding out that our hotels are operating at 40% of capacity is painful." He stressed that Slovenia must work on its image as a tourist destination.

Slovenia has been investing strongly in infrastructure since 2004, while it has failed to implement the key point of the current strategy for tourism, which is promotion. "Promotion is the alpha and the omega of tourism."

Počivalšek praised domestic tourists, but pointed to the fact that Slovenia is too small. "If we want to make progress, growth, development, we need to look outside the borders," he said, adding that at least tourists from the 500-km circle around Slovenia should be targeted.

The minister would like to see the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO), which was merged at the beginning of 2013 with the Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI) and the Technology Agency (TIA) to create the SPIRIT investment and tourism promotion agency, become an independent body again.

Before it was dissolved in SPIRIT, the STO was a strong national agency for the promotion of tourism on the way of adequately supporting the investments in tourism, according to him.

Počivalšek announced that the government will discuss on Thursday legislative changes to allow the STO to become independent again. The changes could be discussed and voted on by the National Assembly at the beginning of March, he added.


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