Tourism in Slovenia 2021: stats & numbers

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In 2021, 4 million tourist arrivals and more than 11 million tourist overnight stays in Slovenia were recorded, which is 31% more arrivals and 22% more overnight stays than in the same period in 2020.

2021 in a review: Slovenian tourism stats & numbers

Of 4 million tourist arrivals and more than 11 million tourist overnight stays generated in Slovenia in 2021, foreign guests generated 1.8 million arrivals and 4.8 million overnight stays. In the first 11 months of 2021, 1.36 billion euros from travel exports were recorded. 2021 entered the history of Slovenian tourism as another year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The numbers and statistical data on arrivals and overnight stays in 2021 in Slovenian tourism are better than in 2020, but still significantly below the level of 2019.In 2021, 35.7% less tourist arrivals and 28.7% less tourist overnight stays than in 2019 were recorded. By the end of the year, 4 million tourist arrivals and 11.2 million tourist overnight stays were recorded, i.e. 30.6% more tourist arrivals and 22.2% more tourist overnight stays than in the same period in 2020. Of this, foreign guests generated 1.8 million tourist arrivals (45.8% of all) and 4.8 million overnight stays (42.6% of all), which is 50.7 % more tourist arrivals and 43 % more tourist overnight stays than in 2020. Domestic guests generated 2.1 million tourist arrivals (54.2 %) and 6.4 million tourist overnight stays (57.4%), which represents 17.4 % more tourist arrivals and 10.4 % more tourist overnight stays than in 2020.

THE NUMBERS AND STATISTICAL DATA ON ARRIVALS AND OVERNIGHT STAYS IN 2021 IN SLOVENIAN TOURISM ARE BETTER THAN IN 2020, BUT STILL SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW THE LEVEL OF 2019.

Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology: “The covid-19 pandemic showed the importance of the tourism sector for many economic activities, as well as the economy in general. Due to the decline in international travel during the pandemic, global and domestic tourism industry suffered greatly in 2021, though slightly better results on tourist visits compared 2020 were recorded. However, this is still far from the figures we recorded in the record year of Slovenian tourism in 2019. We can say that Slovenian tourists contributed a lot to the results of Slovenian tourism in 2021, especially thanks to the measures taken by the state to help tourism recover from the covid-19 pandemic, including the introduction of tourist vouchers. For further visits by both domestic and foreign guests, it is important that we highlight that tourism providers in Slovenia provide safe and quality services and that all guests are warmly welcome. Successful tourism will also have a multiplier effect on higher economic growth this year and in the future.”

Ilona Stermecki, M.Sc., acting director of the STB“With the aim of strengthening Slovenia’s visibility and reputation, the Slovenian Tourist Board continues and upgrades the promotion of sustainable, authentic and boutique tourism. Promotional and marketing activities in foreign markets, especially nearby ones, where we address guests who are looking for unique experiences in unspoiled nature and a tourist offer of higher added value, have been intensified. This year we will again launch Moja Slovenia, the central motivational campaign, where we will once again invite Slovenians to take holidays in their home country. We will also carry out a promotional campaign for professions in the hospitality and tourism industry. Given the great potential for further development and growth, we pay special attention to the promotion of active outdoor experiences and sports tourism, the central communication theme of 2022-2023. By participating in promotions at international sports events in Slovenia and by joining forces with sports ambassadors of Slovenian tourism and young talented athletes and global media as well, we will strengthen Slovenia’s visibility in the world. At the core of all activities remains the implementation of the sustainable commitment of Slovenian tourism, where we continue to develop and upgrade the Green Scheme of Slovenian tourism and the creation of new indicators of success in tourism. Special attention will continue to be paid to the digitalisation of marketing and communication with both, business community and tourists. With the digital transformation of Slovenian tourism, we want to support Slovenia on its way to becoming one of the most digitally advanced tourist countries in Europe. We are aware that tourist demand is changing in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. There are less and less sought-after destinations for mass tourism and there is a growing demand for individual and boutique tourist offer. This is where Slovenia has a big potential, which we will definitely seek to benefit from and use it in cooperation with the Slovenian tourism industry and other partners of Slovenian tourism, to effectively recover and strengthen tourism after the crisis.”

BY PARTICIPATING IN PROMOTIONS AT INTERNATIONAL SPORTS EVENTS IN SLOVENIA AND BY JOINING FORCES WITH SPORTS AMBASSADORS OF SLOVENIAN TOURISM AND YOUNG TALENTED ATHLETES AND GLOBAL MEDIA AS WELL, WE WILL STRENGTHEN SLOVENIA’S VISIBILITY IN THE WORLD. ILONA STERMECKI, M.SC.

Most foreign tourists come from Germany

Of foreign tourists, in 2021 most overnight stays in Slovenia were made by tourists from Germany (22.3 % of all overnight stays made by foreign tourists), followed by tourists from Austria (9.0 %), Italy (7.4 %), the Czech Republic (6.9 %) and the Netherlands (6.6 %). Before the pandemic, the distribution in the markets was similar, only the order and share of markets has changed (in the same period in 2019: Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic).

THE RATIO BETWEEN OVERNIGHT STAYS OF DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TOURISTS LAST YEAR WAS 57:43 % IN FAVOUR OF DOMESTIC GUESTS (IN THE SAME PERIOD IN 2019, THIS RATIO WAS 27:73 % IN FAVOUR OF FOREIGN GUESTS).

Most overnight stays were made in mountain municipalities

Last year, most tourist overnight stays were created in accommodation establishments in mountain municipalities (30% of all overnight stays), followed by coastal municipalities (24%) and health resorts (23%). In all tourist municipalities, more tourist overnight stays were recorded than in the same period in 2020: in mountain resorts the numbers incread by 17.9 %, in seaside resorts by 20.3 %, in health resorts by 13.5 %, in Ljubljana by 60.3 %, in towns and cities by 28.6 % and in other municipalities by 36.6 %. In 2021, domestic and foreign tourists generated the highest number of overnight stays in hotels (46.5 % of all overnight stays and 25.8 % more as in the same period 2020), followed by other accommodation establishments and then campsites.

The value of travel exports in first 11 months of 2021: 17.7% higher than in 2020, but almost half lower than in 2019

In the first eleven months of 2021, the value of travel exports amounted to 1.36 billion euros, which is 17.7 % more than in the same period in 2020, but still as much as 48.8 % less than in the same period in 2019, when the value of travel exports amounted to 2.66 billion euros.

Tourism to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2023 or 2024

Many destinations and associations in Slovenian tourism report good results in 2021, to which continuous promotion in domestic and foreign markets and also domestic tourist vouchers have greatly contributed. However, since 19 October 2020, Slovenian tourism has been facing the closure of accommodation establishments (from 19 October 2020 to 24 April 2021), which has had a key impact on the results in 2020.

According to the UNWTO, a 4% growth in tourism or 415 million arrivals ((400 million arrivals in 2020) were recorded in 2021. Preliminary UNWTO estimates show that international tourist arrivals are still 72 % lower than in the pre-pandemic 2019. In 2020, the worst year for tourism so far, international arrivals fell by 73 %. According to the UNWTO, recovery across global regions remains slow and uneven given the varying degrees of restrictions on movement, vaccinations and tourist confidence. In 2021, the highest growths compared to 2020 were recorded in Europe (+19 %) and the United States (+17 %). The recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the Omicron version are expected to halt the recovery and affect travel confidence in early 2022, as some countries have reintroduced travel restrictions and further restricted certain markets.

Based on the results of the panel of experts in 2022, the UNWTO predicts better prospects for tourism, and most of the participants in the panel expect the return of tourism to the level of 2019 only in 2024 or later. The main factor identified for the effective recovery of international tourism is the rapid and widespread introduction of vaccination, followed by the removal of travel restrictions and more coordination and clearer information on travel protocols. According to the UNWTO estimates, international tourist arrivals in 2022 could increase by 30 % to 78 % compared to 2021, which is still 50 % to 63 % below pre-pandemic levels.

UNWTO reports that the main travel trends in 2022 include domestic tourism and nearby destinations, outdoor activities, nature-based products and rural tourism.