AUSTRALIANS are beginning to discover the charms of the small eastern European nation of Slovenia, recording a 17% rise in visitation in 2018 when compared to the previous year.

Speaking to travelBulletin at a roadshow last month in Sydney, the Slovenian Tourist Board’s Project Manager Business Communication Vesna Mojsilovic said the country notched up over 50,000 Aussie arrivals last year and averaged an impressive 180,000 overnight stays. Part of Slovenia’s tourism strategy going forward will be to bolster this positive trend by boosting the average duration of stay from long-haul markets such as Australia.

“When people arrive in Slovenia they are combining a lot of countries, but we think this is a shame because in Slovenia there are so many more things to see,” Mojsilovic said. “We want to show that we are really a country full of hidden gems… for example if you stay in our capital Ljubljana you have beautiful architecture, museums, galleries, shopping, good food and bars. Some people joke that if Vienna and Prague got married Ljubljana would be the baby,” she added.

The Slovenian Tourist Board recently visited Australia in partnership with the Croatian National Tourist Board as part of a combined strategy to lure more visitors.

“One advantage of combining our efforts is because people in long-haul markets often decide to do more than one country so when they come to this area they combine Croatia and Slovenia,” Mojsilovic said.

“Croatia is interesting for its coastal areas and many islands, but Slovenia has an alpine region like Switzerland and Austria with beautiful lakes and rivers and that makes it a very different product to Croatia.”

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