The Slovenia Times

Slovenian Tourism on Track, Says UN Tourism Agency Official


The country's 2012-2016 tourism development strategy sets the correct course for the sector, he told the STA in an interview.

"In terms of branding, Slovenia has also found a good positioning by using the "I Feel Slovenia" and appealing to what tourists want today - experiences - and using green, which is the colour of sustainability," said the official of the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of sustainable tourism.

Slovenia is "essentially incorporating green into the DNA of its brand, not only through it logo, but also by its activities, and when people think Slovenia, people think green, sustainable destination."

It is essential that the whole tourism sector works towards emphasising its key attributes, he said, noting that dissonance between the brand and what is actually on offer can "lead to negative consequences".

Asked about the competitiveness of small countries such as Slovenia, Favilla Lucca de Paula noted that tourism competitiveness "is not so much about what you have but what you do with what we have."

"Slovenia has both. It has amazing cultural and natural resources; it is close to major tourism source markets and has tourism as a priority for its development...Most importantly, the country offers in a small distance various experiences to diverse type of tourists, which increases its competitive advantage."

Nevertheless, there are benefits to small countries in working with other destinations in regional strategies. That way they can attract distant markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

Overall in Central and Eastern Europe tourism development is outpacing global growth. "There is a growing global awareness of the immense natural and cultural wealth of these countries."

But to exploit the region's potential, partnerships are needed, not only between the private and public sectors, academia and civil society, but also horizontally and vertically within the public sector itself.

"Tourism is a highly multi-sectoral activity which requires commitment and input from a diverse set of stakeholders...The region should seek to create cross-border partnerships to create multi-destination packages that can attract rapidly growing emerging markets."

This will also be one of the topics at a panel held at the Business BSF, the business part of the Bled Strategic Forum, on Tuesday. Favilla Lucca de Paula will be one of the panelists.


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