Slovenia – Europe in Miniature

ITB Berlin’s Convention & Culture partner opens its doors to the world

Slovenia is sometimes called “Europe in Miniature”. Why so? We put the question to Majda Dolenc – Director, Slovenian Tourism Office – Germany (Munich).

Slovenia is diverse, located at the junction of the three biggest European landscape types: the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea and the Pannonian Plain. The small picturesque country Slovenia offers a great spectrum of possibilities to spend eventful holidays. Active holiday, spas with wellbeing or also a short city break in the green capital Ljubljana are highlights as well as excellent gastronomy and wine. The biggest competitive advantage of Slovenia is the large diversity in nature and in culture.

What are the key cultural and natural attractions that are under the spotlight at ITB Berlin 2017?

The key cultural attraction of the cities in Slovenia is the architectural diversity with the influence of the surrounding and history like Roman, Italian, French and alpine influences as well as influences of the Austrian- Hungarian region. The Slovenian cities are a scene for excellent culture events from ethnographic heritage festival to high-ranking art. Just in Ljubljana more than 10,000 cultural events with tradition for decades take place, for example the “Jazz Festival Ljubljana”, the “Ljubljana Festival” or the “Taste Ljubljana Festival”. Another highlight this year is called “Plečniks year” recognising the influence and work of one of the most important architects in Slovenia, Jože Plečnik, his architectural heritage and his long-lasting work with sustainable materials.

Sustainability has become an essential ingredient to your destination. How did that come about?

Slovenia made great steps into sustainability in the last years not only in nature but also in culture and society. A very good example is Ljubljana itself in the field of traffic. Already at present Ljubljana attracts visitors with a car-free city centre and at 1.6 million commutes, the municipal bike-sharing system “BicikeLJ” meets with the current trend. Electric cars, called Cavaliers, are as well highlights as the electric train to the castle. Ljubljana was European Green Capital 2016 with many good cases and Slovenia itself is a certified green destination.

How and why is ITB an important factor in your growth?

Every year presentation on ITB Berlin is important for growth of recognition as well as image of Slovenia as competitive tourism destination. As a small country Slovenia is fighting against bigger and stronger players on the global tourism ground. With success, as in the year 2016 the number of overnight stays from Germany increases by 8.7% and international overnight stays by 8% compared to the year before. In total, Slovenia counted 10 million overnight stays in 2016. At ITB Berlin 2017, Slovenia is located in hall 17 nearby Austria and Switzerland which are strong competitors but don`t have 46 km of Mediterranean coast