Featured in Lonely Planet’s top ten countries to visit in 2022, Slovenia could become one of Europe’s adventure destinations, with GlobalData projections signalling a bright future for the destination in the post-pandemic era.
According to GlobalData’s Tourism demands and flows database, Slovenia can expect a strong recovery in its inbound tourism, with pre-pandemic levels forecasted to recover by 2023 and then reaching record levels by 2024. Inspired by its recent international tourism campaign, focusing on adventure tourism, the Central European nation could see inbound tourism rise to 5.7 million arrivals by 2024, a 22% increase on pre-pandemic levels (2019).
Slovenia’s marketing campaign is focused and perfectly timed
Home to 34 landscape parks which have now become a focal point for Slovenia’s tourist board’s ‘I feel Slovenia’ marketing campaign, it is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe. Due to its recent marketing campaign, Slovenia is getting more exposure than ever over social media, according to the GlobalData Ads database. Focusing on adventure tourism, it centralises on Slovenia’s incredible landscapes and national parks while using its exposure from the ‘Tour of Slovenia’ international cycling competition as a method of promoting biking holidays. Incidentally, the 2019 tour attracted more than ten million viewers during the live broadcast, creating a powerful platform to promote its landscape and scenery.
Feeding into the recent media press from Lonely Planet, the Slovenian tourist board entices travellers with the strapline ‘Why Slovenia should be your next destination’. Furthermore, 27% of respondents from a recent GlobalData Q3 2021 Consumer Survey said they typically book adventure holidays. Adventure tourism also proved more prevalent in some key source markets, such as the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, where 40% of Czech respondents and 32% of Dutch respondents said they typically book adventure holidays, suggesting it can capture demand from some already lucrative markets.
The timing for Slovenia’s advertising campaign is ideal. Many tourists are yearning for open, green spaces after months at home due to lockdowns and homeworking. Pent-up demand for adventure travel will see international tourism recover more quickly in Slovenia than in other places in Europe. In addition, the strong marketing campaign will support its recovery. Strategically, it centralises on a niche market, enabling Slovenia to differentiate itself from the rest of Europe and offer a new and unique product.
Infrastructure may need to improve
Direct flights are currently quite limited and are mainly tied to major airports in Europe, such as Heathrow, Charles De Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol. However, for adventure tourism to grow, more direct connections to regional airports are needed, especially with key source markets. With the strong press association, expansion of Ljubljana airport and exciting projections, low-cost airlines may consider operating routes to key regional airports. The developments could see waves of adventure travellers seeking new experiences in one of the best kept secrets in Europe.