Ljubljana – The typical foreign tourists in Slovenia are couples who appreciate natural attractions, safety and relaxation, according to a survey conducted by the Statistics Office before the epidemic which shows the country still has untapped potential in family tourism, recreational sports and cultural activities.
According to Matjaž Robinšek from Valicon, which analysed the results of the poll conducted among foreign tourists from 89 countries between the spring of 2019 and early 2020 for the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO), the results of the pre-epidemic poll can still be useful for long-term planning.
About 45% of the respondents in the poll, conducted mostly among hotel guests, were staying in Slovenia with a spouse or a partner, 21% with family, 15% alone and 11% with friends.
“I think the family segment remains a bit untapped,” Robinšek assessed in today’s presentation. “We should reflect on how to adjust the services to families as they can build on what Slovenia already has,” he said.
For 43% of the respondents, Slovenia was a stop on their journey through several countries, mostly Croatia, Austria and Italy. On their almost 10-day trip, they spent just over five days in Slovenia, Robinšek said.
The majority, 55%, mostly travelled by car or van, and 32% by plane.
Valicon classified the guests according to the reasons for visiting into socialisers who want to spend active time with their family, friends or relatives (42%); explorers who are interested in cultural sights, cuisine and pampering (27%); muses who seek health-related services, relaxation and rest (14%); and business guests (12%).
Slovenia has fulfilled the expectations of 51% of the guests and for 48% of them it exceeded them, which Robinšek thinks is crucial for Slovenia. Only 1% of the respondents said their expectations had not been met.
The guests are impressed the most by the natural environment, personal safety and opportunities for rest and relaxation.
The prices have been assessed as somewhat lower than in many other European countries. Italians on average spend EUR 76 per day in Slovenia, Austrians EUR 52 and Germans, who often stay in campsites, EUR 42. Italian guests still tend to spend quite a lot on gaming, while Austrian and German guests mostly spend their money on food and drinks.
Guests from all three key markets spend relatively little on culture or entertainment, sports and recreation, organised trips and other tickets, so Robinšek sees potential there.
He also thinks Slovenia should strive to attract more tourists from markets such as Belgium, France, and the US, as they are bigger spenders. But the country should then offer more experiences, for example in extreme sports, and sports activities for families, Robinšek said.
“These activities could build on the green story that Slovenia already has,” he added.
Overall, visitors seem to be happy with the country, as 45% of the respondents said this was not their first time here and 30% even returned to the same place; 28% were regular guests.