Slovenia attracted 3.94 million foreign visitors last year, an increase of 115% compared with the year before, as overall tourist arrivals rose by 47% to 5.87 million, official statistics show.
The number of nights spent by tourists at accommodation facilities in the country rose by 38.5% to 15.59 million last year, the Slovenian Statistics Office reported on 25 January.
The nights spent by visitors from Slovenia fell by 15% as their arrivals dropped by 11% to 1.93 million. Nights spent by foreign visitors doubled to 10.08 million.
German tourists accounted for 18% of the overnight stays. Other large groups of visitors came from Italy, Austria and the Netherlands.
Ljubljana was where the most tourist nights were recorded, almost 2 million. The municipalities of Piran at the seaside, and Bled and Kranjska Gora in the alpine region followed.
The capital was the most popular destination among foreign visitors in terms of the nights spent, while local tourists spent most of their nights away from home in Piran.
Separate data for December shows arrivals staying broadly level year-on-year at 298,000, although they rose by 114% for foreign visitors to 184,000. Overnight stays fell by 4% in total, but were up 98% for foreign guests to 430,000, 59% of the total.
Italian tourists accounted for a quarter of overnight stays in December, followed by Croatians (12%), Austrians (11%), Germans (6%), and Serbians (5%).
Almost a third of overnight stays were recorded in spa municipalities, ahead of mountain municipalities (23%), Ljubljana (19%) and seaside municipalities (11%).
Commenting on the statistics, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) said Slovenian tourism had recovered to nearly pre-Covid levels of 2019 even though this had not been expected to happen before 2023.
The STO expects the national tourism industry to continue to post moderate growth this year, of roughly 5%.
Compared with 2019, which was the record year for Slovenian tourism, last year’s arrivals are down by 5.8% and nights down by 1.2%.