Message from the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Matjaž Han, on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2022 "Rethinking Tourism"
- Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
On the occasion of the World Tourism Day, we publish the message from the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Matjaž Han.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, all who are in any way connected with Slovenian tourism.
This year, World Tourism Day is being celebrated under the slogan "Rethinking Tourism".
Tourism is of great economic importance to Slovenia. Despite the challenges of recent years, it contributes as much as ten per cent to the gross domestic product. Within the industry and related activities, it still employs more than 57,000 people and generates wealth in local communities. After the remarkable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, new challenges are already ahead, this time driven by the war in Ukraine, the climate-energy crisis and the rising cost of living.
The pandemic has reminded us of the great vulnerability of tourism, as the sector has seen a sharp decline in turnover and a flight of employees to other activities. Once again, tourism has proved to be an industry that reacts very quickly to any change, but fortunately recovers in a very short time. This recovery has also been shorter than expected, but this should not be an excuse not to invest in its resilience in the long term.
With the generous support of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenian tourism survived the turbulent period of the pandemic. Tourism has changed and adapted to the new circumstances in many ways, relying on the creativity and innovation of the people who work for and in tourism. We have all made a collective bet on the sustainable development of the industry, which has led us to fundamentally rethink the way forward for tourism – how to correct the mistakes and shortcomings of the past, how to develop a more resilient, inclusive tourism industry that is friendly to the environment and to people.
Together with you, dear stakeholders of Slovenian tourism, we have clearly outlined the objectives for the future development of tourism. The decision is clear – we will pursue the development of sustainable tourism with a low carbon footprint, mobilising resources to create added value for all – you, the employees, guests and the local environment. We are determined to develop year-round tourism, green and environmentally friendly tourism products, while encouraging the innovation and creativity of tourism providers. We will use modern technologies to help increase productivity and added value in tourism.
We will also decisively address the human resources gap in tourism. We will look intensively for long-term solutions to the labour shortage and we know where we will focus our collective efforts. We will start by improving working conditions and raising the profile of the profession, and by training quality employees – in partnership with you, employers and educational institutions, of course.
In the future, we want to strengthen tourism governance at the local and destination levels and create synergies within and between sectors, as tourism is highly dependent on other activities. We want to join forces with all the sectors involved and together build a more resilient, more attractive, more sustainable and more inclusive tourism industry. I sincerely believe that, together, we will succeed.
To all of you who work in tourism, thank you for your hard work, your cooperation, creativity, and determination and perseverance in difficult times. Thank you for creating our common tourism story. I want you to know that you can count on my support, and I urge you to continue to make Slovenian tourism even better for all.
Congratulations on this year’s World Tourism Day.
Matjaž Han, Minister of Economic Development and Technology