Skip to main content

Slovenia strengthening its tourism sector

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on the development of tourism in Slovenia in the past two years, the industry is now also affected by the war in Ukraine. With the support of the State, the tourism sector will therefore have to adapt and focus on promoting Slovenia as a safe, sustainable and crowd-free destination.
The tourism sector will have to adapt and focus on promoting Slovenia as a safe, sustainable and crowd-free destination

The tourism sector will have to adapt and focus on promoting Slovenia as a safe, sustainable and crowd-free destination | Author STO

Last year, Slovenian tourism did better than in 2020. To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the Government allocated more than one billion euros in relief to tourism providers, which allowed the sector to survive and preserve jobs and alleviated companies’ liquidity problems. This year, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will focus on stimulating the investment cycle in tourism with 140 million euros, adopting a new tourism development strategy and adapting Slovenia’s tourism promotion to nearby markets.

According to the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, demand in the EU currently remains unchanged, but there will not be any guests from Russia and much fewer guests from Ukraine this year, and the numbers of transatlantic and Asian guests will likely be affected as well. "The impact of this crisis will also be felt in Slovenia, directly in the tourism sector and indirectly through its effect on the Slovenian and European economies," said the Minister at a press conference held on Wednesday. Trade with Russia and Ukraine, both directly and in proxy through EU countries, is jeopardised, and the war is also hitting the energy sector. Rising prices of energy, petrol and food could also result in higher operating costs and probably the prices of tourism services, which could affect demand in tourism and the economy in general.

Given the circumstances, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will have three priorities this year. The first will be to stimulate investments in public infrastructure, accommodation capacities and the range of tourism products and services in order to increase added value. A total of 140 million euros will be allocated for this purpose. The measure will also include a one-time relief for the hospitality and tourism companies most affected during the pandemic in the amount of 10 million euros. The second priority will be to ensure a stable and predictable business environment with funds guaranteed in advance. According to the Minister, the new tourism development strategy for the 2022–2028 period is in the final stages of preparation. The Ministry is also working on a framework for the use of resources from the new financial perspective, under which Slovenia will have three billion euros at its disposal, with one billion euros allocated to the private sector, a "significant share" of which will go into tourism. The third priority is changing how tourism is promoted. “Because of the loss of markets due to the war and the pandemic, we must take swift and effective action," said Minister Počivalšek. Therefore, we will also have to focus on the traditional markets of Austria, Germany and Italy, and potential new markets of the Visegrad countries.

After the pandemic and in light of the war in Ukraine, the guests value safety and health, where Slovenia has considerable comparative advantages, added Minister Počivalšek. Tourists are looking for green tourism services and products and activities in nature, which Slovenia can deliver.