News from the Slovenian Tourist Board– Summer 2004
The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the mysterious Karst. Slovenia has a population of 2 million and its capital city is Ljubljana. The official language is Slovene, one of the South Slavonic languages. In Slovenia, the sun shines approximately 2000 hours per year. And yes, there is plenty of snow in winter. As a small, beautiful and picturesque country, Slovenia makes a great tourist destination. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests, caves, hills, plains, rivers and the sea – you name it, you can find it all within a modest 20.273 km2 (half the size of Switzerland), as well as many natural and landscape parks. You can ski in the morning and surrender yourself to the luxury of the Adriatic Sea in the afternoon. Slovenia has 46.6 km of sea coast – an inch per inhabitant.
Slovenia on DVD and a new tourist map
A new DVD is available that provides a multimedia presentation of the economy, culture, and tourism of Slovenia in English, German, and Italian. The Slovenian Tourist Board has also published a new general tourist map of Slovenia with a new image. The map is currently available in English, and Italian, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Croatian, and Russian versions are being prepared.
Italian tourists show great interest in Slovenia
With its natural beauties, Slovenia is attracting more Italian tourists every year. This increased interest in Slovenia is the fruit of many years of cooperation between the Slovenian Tourist Board and Slovene tourist industry with their Italian counterparts, which was confirmed at this year’s two tourism workshops at the end of May in Italy, where Slovene tourist establishments presented this year’s tourist offer and innovations for the coming year. The workshops were attended by representatives from the larger Slovene hotels, health resorts, and tourist agencies, Adria-Airways, and the Ljubljana Institute of Tourism. Since last year, Slovenia’s tourist offer has also appeared on the official Slovene tourist portal at www.slovenia-tourism.si, where more than 3,000 tourist establishments and attractions are currently presented. From January to April this year, 630,000 visits to the website were recorded, some 244% more than in the same period last year. There were 2,596 reservations made via the portal in the first four months of this year, more than all of last year’s 2,153 reservations.
Easyjet arrivals enthusiastic about Slovenia
Slovene hotels have already felt the effects of the direct air connection between Ljubljana and London. Among the increasing numbers of British tourists, most spent the night at the Hotel Slon, some chose to stay at the more expensive Villa Bled and Villa Pre‰eren, and the young are enthusiastic about the Celica Youth Hostel. British tourists usually spend short vacations here, three days or a weekend, which they believe is enough to visit the capital, the mountains, and the coast. The diverse and unspoiled character of Slovenia’s landscapes is one of the greatest motivations for the British deciding to visit Slovenia.
2004 Travel Award for Slovenia
Slovenia has received a prestigious award from the editorial boards of the renowned British newspapers The Guardian, The Observer, and the web edition of The Guardian Unlimited as one of the most popular tourist countries, thus overtaking all the European “tourism superpowers” such as Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and even Iceland, which took first place last year. Among the readers and website visitors who evaluated one of four services, more than 22,000 Brits responded that they had actually been to Slovenia. This year Slovenia received 95.5 points, meaning that almost all of those who evaluated Slovenia stated they had an excellent time in Slovenia.
Slovenia’s capital city attracts the British
The distinguished British tourist journalist Simon Calder has written an extensive article for The Independent newspaper in which he presented Ljubljana as a very beautiful and open city suitable for weekend visits because one can walk it in two days. The city becomes alive especially in the summer months when numerous festivals are in progress, so advises his readers to visit Ljubljana as soon as possible to avoid the inevitable crowds that will arrive when the world discovers what a pleasant and affordable city Ljubljana is. In addition to mentioning several restaurants with delicious food, he provides information on airlines.
Around Ljubljana on bicycle
From the end of May to the middle of October, you can rent a bicycle to ride on the streets of Slovenia’s capital city at a very affordable price. Bicycle rentals for tourist tours can be arranged at the Tourist Information Centers, and other bicycles can be rented at various locations throughout the city every day between 8:00 and 20:00. Groups of three to a maximum of nine visitors can take a bicycle tour of the city with a qualified guide for 3,000 SIT per person. The price also includes accident insurance.
Adria Airways records increase in number of flights and passengers
The Slovene airline Adria Airways recorded 9% more flights in the first five months of this year than in the same period last year, mostly the result of the increased frequency of weekly flights on regular lines. In this year’s 7,323 flights, Adria carried 310,500 passengers, a 10% increase over last year. Adria has more than 180 regular flights per week to 22 cities and also flies to more than twenty charter destinations. It is steadily expanding its activities at airports abroad, this year increasing the number of flights by 19% and carrying 42% more passengers. Adria predicts positive results for the summer season in both regular and charter traffic.
Measuring the effectiveness of the “Slovenia invigorates” campaign in foreign markets
The Slovenian Tourist Board has begun research to measure the effectiveness of the “Slovenia invigorates” advertising campaign in three foreign markets: Austria, Italy, and Germany. Survey respondents will answer questions whose analysis will provide conclusions regarding the visibility and attractiveness of the “Slovenia invigorates” campaign. The results of the research, the first of its kind the Slovenian Tourist Board has undertaken in foreign markets, will be known at the end of July.
Slovene natural health resorts well visited
According to data from the Association of Slovene Health Resorts, visits to 15 Slovene natural health resorts increased by 5.3% in the first five months of this year. The proportion of foreign visitors increased by 8.1% and of domestic visitors by 3.3%. The most foreign guests, 43.2%, still come from Austria, but the proportion of Italian and Croatian guests also increased, to 21.9% and 11.9%. However the number of guests from Germany decreased by 10%. Compared with last year, the total number of overnight stays increased minimally, by just 0.4%, and the number of overnight stays of foreign guests by 1.7%.
Water park opens in Bohinjska Bistrica
The greatest acquisition of Bohinj tourism in the last few years is the water park in Bohinjska Bistrica, which covers more than 3,000 square meters. Along with its pool area and swimming in 32º water, the water park complex also offers a free-climbing wall, a fitness studio, Turkish, Finnish, and infrared saunas, a solarium, massage, day and night bars, and a children’s play corner. Four hundred visitors a day will be able to enjoy “water pleasures.” There are plans to build a hotel for 150 guests in the immediate vicinity of the water park, which will certainly round off the tourist image of Bohinjska Bistrica.
Coming events 1,000th anniversary of Bled
“Bled celebrates” its millennium between June 18 and 27 starting with the central event and the opening of the renovated staircase on Bled island. This year’s music Festival Bled taking place between July 1 and 14 with renowned Slovene and foreign musicians will also be held in the sign of Bled’s millennium celebrations. The celebrations will continue between July 16 and 18 with Bled Days and the traditional Bled Night with fireworks and lights on the lake.
Ljubljana Summer Festival invites
The Ljubljana Summer Festival, which runs from July 8 to August 19, is the capital city’s main summer cultural event. This year’s festival is the 52nd in a row, and the organizers have worked hard to organize more than fifty events from the world of music, dance, and theatre at various locations, with the renowned Pleãnik KriÏanke open-air theatre being the most important venue. In the foreground will be opera and ballet performances and chamber music, symphonic, jazz, and ethno concerts by top Slovene and international artists. The festival will open with the Helikon Opera from Moscow presenting Bizet’s Carmen, and the festival will also include performances by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Paco de Lucia, Isaac Delgado, Bobby McFerrin, and many others. Accompanying events of this year’s Summer Festival will include exhibitions in Ljubljana Castle, the 7th International Fine Arts Colony, Days of Chansons, Festival Spectrum 2004, and Slovenska Popevka 2004.
BreÏice Festival of Early Music at Slovenia’s cultural heritage sites
The festival of Early Music known as Festival BreÏice will take place between June 21 and August 15 with a top quality program of concerts by internationally recognized artists in the sphere of Early Music in the Klasikaa concert series and by young talents in the Euronet series. The main features of the festival are the performance of medieval, Renaissance, and Classical music in the original manner conceived by the composer on original and replica period instruments and the venues where the concerts are held. All the venues are Slovene cultural heritage sites. Along with BreÏice Castle, Mokrice Castle, and the monastery in Kostanjevica na Krki, the program includes two new historic locations: Predjama Castle and the Jamski dvorec Manor in Postojna. In twenty years, Festival BreÏice has developed from an Early Music summer school and a small regional festival into a renowned European event.
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