SLOVENIAN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (summary) The Partnership for the Sustainable Development of Tourism

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1 SLOVENIAN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (summary) Introduction Pursuant to Article 5 of the Promotion of Tourism Development Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 2/04), the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology has been charged with the drafting of the proposal for the Slovene Tourism Strategy. To this end, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology prepared a draft of the Slovenian Tourism Development Strategy. The objective pursued by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in drafting the document for the period was to design an efficient development model of Slovene tourism for the defined period that would provide an optimum method for evaluating all key attributes and potentials of Slovene tourism. In drafting the Tourism Strategy, all principal stakeholders and the relevant interested public in Slovenia are included in the process. In its final phase, this document should represent a harmonised text from all participants of tourist interests in the country, i.e. from the public, private and civil sector. The proposed development strategy of tourism in the envisaged period from 2012 until 2016 is based on a detailed analysis of the internal and external environment, and on the consideration of the latest trends in the development of tourism. From this analysis, the vision, fundamental objectives, corporate and business strategies, as well as policies with the envisaged measures and activities for the achievement of the basic strategic objectives were derived. For the purpose of continuously monitoring the implementation of basic strategic objectives, this document also anticipates the establishment of an efficient evaluation and implementation supervision system covering the Slovenian Tourism Development Strategy. The Slovenian Tourism Development Strategy is the key strategic document in the field of tourism development and sets out the role and the importance of individual stakeholders in this field, defining them as true bearers or participating parties in the implementation of particular tasks. The Partnership for the Sustainable Development of Tourism The development and marketing strategy for Slovenian tourism is built on the foundations and realisation of goals written in the Development Plan and Policies of Slovenian Tourism and upgrades them in line with the bases of the desired development of Slovenian tourism in this strategic period. The working name of the new Development Strategy for Slovenian Tourism is Partnership for the Sustainable Development of Slovenian Tourism and is based on experiences from the past two decades and discoveries from at least a century before that, on the theoretical knowledge and findings from the fifteen years of the STB s operations, the cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the STB and stakeholders from the private and civil society sectors and, especially, on a very clear image of what we wish to achieve in the future. MISSION Slovenian sustainable tourism creates an important part of economic and socio-cultural well-being, revenues and jobs and is an important contributor to Slovenia s international reputation; it is based on intensive marketing of tourist products of internationally recognised brands and high added value.

2 THE 2016 VISION AND PARTNERSHIP COMMITMENT In 2016, tourism in Slovenia will be entirely based on sustainable development and will be, as a very successful industry of the national economy, a major contributor to our country s social welfare and reputation in the world. Slovenia will be a developed tourist destination with a modern, diverse and top-quality tourist offer, based on innovative and quality integral tourist products and high value-added services aimed to satisfy tourists. With attractive and diverse tourist products, Slovenia will also become the desired destination for tourists coming from remote markets. OBJECTIVES The objective of the Development Strategy for Slovenian Tourism in the period from 2012 to 2016 is: to increase the volume of tourist activity (tourist traffic: revenues and profits from catering and tourist activities, number of tourists, number of overnight stays): number of overnight stays: 2% (annual rate of growth), number of tourists: 4% (annual rate of growth), receipts from the export of travel: 6-8% (annual rate of growth). In order to achieve the general objective, it is required that: the principles of the sustainable development of tourism be successfully enforced, a favourable business environment be ensured, higher quality be achieved and conditions be established that will lead to greater competitiveness of Slovenian tourism, efficient and innovative marketing and promotion of Slovenia as an attractive tourist destination be planned and implemented. We highlight the sustainable concept of tourism development in all areas and levels. Roughly, we are speaking of three development areas, whereby the task of the national tourism strategy is to achieve synergy between all of them: increase competitiveness, favourable business environment, efficient and innovative marketing. These areas of development, by all means, also comprise of investments in quality and innovations, climbing the international ladders of competitiveness in both tourism in general as well as its components and areas, developing strategic partnerships within the sector and external stakeholders, eliminating obstacles for a more efficient development of tourism, developing measurement methods and various statistics and indicators, including tourist satellite accounts, raising the culture of evaluation and competency, and so on. In short and put somewhat differently, the main content-related objectives of the new strategy are deemed to be: competitiveness (innovativeness, quality, success, knowledge, safety, added value, traffic, receipts, tourist satisfaction, destination management, consumption per visitor, deseasonalization, etc.) quality of life and welfare (the well-being of the local population, regional development, cooperation in tourism development, employees satisfaction, quality of life, etc.) reputation and development of Slovenian tourism (the priority of tourism, partnership for development, public-private partnership, the image of tourism in the eyes of other activities, etc.) recognition and reputation of Slovenia in the world (stand-out on foreign markets, market brand, image of Slovenia, internationalisation, etc.) All these objectives are accompanied by the basic orientation towards sustainable development, the concern for the economic, socio-cultural and natural environment, environmental impact management and quality of the environment, transfer to a low-carbon society, etc.

3 As expressed, it is sustainable development that is the strategic basis dictating the steps and projects to be taken next and which will allow the international expert and wider community to identify us as an excellent, green, pleasurable, active and healthy destination to visit and do business with. Importance of tourism in Slovenia Based on Article 2 of the Promotion of Tourism Development Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 2/04), the Government of the Republic of Slovenia at their 81 st regular session, dated 11 May 2010, under item 1, adopted the following decision: The Government of the Republic of Slovenia defines tourism as one of the most important economic or strategic sectors that generates new jobs and has an extremely positive impact on balanced regional development. In the years to come and in light of the present level of development of Slovenian tourism and the existing development potential, tourism will become one of the leading industries of the Slovenian economy and will hence make a significant contribution to the attainment of Slovenia s development goals and, within this frame, to the attainment of its economic objectives, such as competitiveness, GDP growth, employment growth, sustainable development, regional development, greater quality of life and well-being of its population, reinforcement of cultural identity and increase of Slovenia s recognition in the world. Tourism is and will be an important economic activity with a number of multiplicative effects. According to the estimate of the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), tourism in Slovenia creates as much as 12.1% of GDP. At the same time, tourism is a very important export activity that represents a good 8% of total export and over 40% of services export in Slovenia s balance of payments (source: Bank of Slovenia). According to the data provided by the Bank of Slovenia, the receipts from the export of travel in the first ten months of 2011 increased by 9.46% compared to the same period in The growth trend, however, was slightly more moderate than the growth of the number of arrivals by foreign tourists, which indicates that the crisis still affects the results in tourism and is also reflected in the new guidelines of tourist demand. Tourists plan their holidays more thoroughly, searching for the most suitable ratios between price and quality. Spending outside boarding houses has also decreased. In the past decade, Slovenian tourism has shown extremely positive growth trends, both regarding the growth of the number of tourists and overnight stays as well as the growth of receipts from tourism. The economic recession in 2010 did influence the growth of turnover in tourism, but the situation is already nearing that of the record-breaking year of The number of tourist arrivals increased in 2010 by 0.7% with respect to 2009 (3,006,272 arrivals in 2010), whereas the number of overnight stays decreased by 1.2% compared to 2009 (8,906,399 overnight stays in 2010) (source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, hereinafter SURS). Compared to 2009, 2010 saw 7.3% ( billion) more receipts from the export of travel (source: Bank of Slovenia). In the first ten months of 2011, the receipts from the export of travel amounted to 1,835 billion, which, compared to the same period last year, implies a 9.46% growth. According to the data provided by SURS, the total number of tourist arrivals in the first ten months of 2011 rose by 7.3% compared to the year before, whereby a 9.1% growth of the number of foreign tourist arrivals and a 4.2% growth of domestic tourist arrivals was noted. The number of overnight stays in the first ten months of 2011 rose by 5.6% compared to the year before, whereby a 9.6% increase in the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists and a 0.3% increase of overnight stays by domestic tourists was noted. By the end of September 2011, there were 59% of overnight stays by foreign tourists.

4 Therefore, tourism is indeed a stimulator of the quality of life and welfare in Slovenia. Identified obstacles in achieving greater competitiveness of Slovenian tourism Based on findings, we identified the following obstacles in the process of attaining greater competitiveness: 1. MEANS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING OF SLOVENIAN TOURISM limited amount of financial means intended for tourism in light of the significance it has on the Slovenian economy (in the fields of investments, development and promotion), 2. ACCESSIBILITY OF SLOVENIA a small number of direct flight connection with the key markets of Slovenian tourism, poor and outdated railway infrastructure, poor road connections from motorways to some most important tourist centres, the vignette system unfriendly to visitors and tourists, unorganised visa policy on promising markets of Slovenian tourism, 3. PROMOTION inconsistent use of the national brand I FEEL SLOVENIA within the frame of promotional activities on foreign markets (primarily by other sectors and economy aiming to achieve the synergy effects of Slovenia s standing-out), low level of recognition of Slovenia on target markets, 4. TOURIST OFFER lacking competitive tourist products, lacking added value or attained price of tourist products, non-cooperation of tourist providers and unconnected tourist offer, unsatisfactory situation and insufficient action in the field of green or sustainable development in tourist and other sectors, gaming poorly integrated in the tourist offer, 5. HUMAN RESOURCES IN TOURISM lack of quality, qualified and motivated human resources in catering and tourism, rigid labour legislation, 6. BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT discouraging investment environment for capital, inadequate business environment that fails to facilitate innovations and competitiveness properly, inefficient inter-ministerial coordination for the needs of faster development of tourism, 7. LEGISLATION - Inconsistent implementation of the Gaming Act in terms of ensuring the earmarked use of funds from special games of chance concession fees, - ministerial regulations important for tourism that do not follow the interests and needs of this area adequately.

5 Basic strategy The objectives set in this period will be achieved by continuing or following the policies from the previous strategic period, i.e. enhancement of connecting and cooperating in joint planning, shaping and marketing Slovenian tourism at all levels, from the local and regional to the national level, and enhancement of excellence in all areas and at all levels of Slovenian tourism. In this strategic period, greater attention will be paid to efficient marketing and promotion of Slovenia as a tourist destination and creating an improved business environment for the development of tourism, with a stress on raising the quality of tourist products and services. In the previous strategic period, there were plenty of funds, both EU funds as well as national, intended for the renovation, construction or modernisation of tourist infrastructure. The majority of funds were intended to stimulate private sector investments, which had a major contribution to the rise in the level of tourist capabilities, both in light of quantity as well as quality. Incentives were primarily aimed at tourist infrastructure in the narrow sense and succeeded in lessening the bottlenecks in the field of accommodation capabilities, skiing capacities and the wellness and congress offer. Aided investments will directly create 1.6 million new overnight stays annually and a total of 1,200 new jobs. Considering the multiplicative factor of tourism on other activities, positive effects will naturally be much greater. In the field of investment policy, this strategic period will place more emphasis on public tourist infrastructure that will generate an additional tourist offer and enable a faster development of individual tourist destinations. Business strategy In light of the situation in Slovenian tourism, it is most appropriate that we continue to pursue the business strategy from the previous strategic period. The basic reason for the above-average long-term success of tourism lies in its competitive edge, which will be possible in Slovenia through the development strategy of a market niche or market void. The point of this strategy is to focus on a smaller segment with our tourist offer. It makes sense to continue performing a detailed segmentation of markets, mostly regarding the criterion of value our tourist offer has (or is supposed to have) on a target tourist, regarding specialisation and market dispersal. The main advantages of selecting this strategy for Slovenian tourism are: o the strategy requires small-scale investments in sources (mostly promotion) compared to strategies that are aimed at the entire market, o the strategy allows a specialisation and greater understanding and knowledge of the target tourist. In order to implement this strategy successfully, several activities need to be carried out that are stated in areas of development. These activities include: o further development of destinations (also through the active and efficient role of regional destination boards), o continuous collection of information on tourists and application of this information in further business operations, o concern for quality, o concern for employees.

6 Levels of organisation, tourist destinations and basic guidelines of the tourist offer In forming or creating tourist destinations, we borrow from the objectives already set in the previous strategic period, i.e. to develop recognisable destinations with stories. Deriving from the fact that there are 13 regional destination boards established at present, with the fourteenth being established, we wish to distance ourselves from the debate regarding whether there are too many regional destination boards at present or not. We definitely wish that tourist destinations would connect in order to form top-quality and interesting tourist products and act jointly on foreign markets (both in the field of promotion and marketing as well as forming integral tourist products). National level The Slovenian Tourist Board takes care of the marketing and promotion of Slovenia as a tourist destination and to this end it performs the function of promotion, distribution and development. The Slovenian Tourist Board as the leading strategic partner of Slovenian tourism links the existing and facilitates the development of new products and destinations and projects of national importance, and establishes an integral tourist information structure, while also carrying out the research and development. If the Slovenian Tourist Board is to carry out all of the planned above-mentioned activities (including the facilitation of destination development), the conditions for this need to be provided (including financial and human resources). Regional level All regional destination boards were (or will be) established on the grounds of their eligibility to be allocated a financial incentive by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. Regional destination boards perform the function of promotion, distribution, development and operations, not disregarding their vital connective role between all stakeholders at a regional level. Regional destination boards link the tourist offer at a regional level into interesting and attractive integral tourist products. It is important that activities of all regional destination boards be coordinated with programme objectives of the Slovenian Tourism Board, because, based on following the programme of the Slovenian Tourist Board, cooperation with the STB on the programme level will be possible after Local level Local tourist organisations or organisations on the local level perform all four functions (the same as regional destination boards, but on a local level). Since regional destination boards have been established, we propose that cooperation and relations with development actors on a regional level be intensified, as this is the only way to form quality and interesting integral tourist products. Basic policies of the tourist offer Cover story of Slovenia as a tourist destination Green. Active. Healthy. Slovenia. Based on the guidelines in the previous strategic period, this period again highlights the following core areas of the tourist offer: o health and well-being (health resorts, wellness, medical tourism) o active holidays and a break (winter and summer activities), o countryside tourism, nature parks, ecotourism, o business tourism, o gastronomy, o towns and culture, o youth tourism, o entertainment tourism, o cruises.

7 Measures and activities Unspoiled nature is the competitive edge of Slovenia that provides the basis for the core areas of Slovenia s tourist offer. Strategic measures for competitive and sustainable Slovenian tourism: 1. To facilitate the increase of competitiveness The strategy proposes that all stakeholders in Slovenian tourism actively facilitate further development of tourist destinations (regional tourism boards, local tourist organisations, tourist societies). The strategy facilitates research and development, both in the public and private sectors, and provides appropriate bases for adopting business decisions. In cooperation with educational institutions, we will raise the qualifications of employees in catering and tourism and encourage innovations in the up-scaling and development of high value-added tourist products. Those responsible for relations at the international level will monitor and represent the interests of Slovenia in the creation of development policies at the level of the EU, UNWTO, OECD and in other international organisations. The State promotes investments in green tourist infrastructure in broader terms and supports the development and establishment of appropriate flight, rail and traffic connections in order to make Slovenia more accessible. Slovenia is developing a tourist offer that will also be interesting for tourists outside the main tourist season, thus affecting deseasonalization and providing ongoing visits of tourist destinations. 2. Provision of a favourable business environment Slovenian tourism requires efficient cooperation at an inter-ministerial level aimed at exploiting all policies and financial instruments of the RS and EU for the development of sustainable tourism as well as possible. The Government has to provide a favourable business and normative environment for the faster development and increase of tourism competitiveness in Slovenia. The organisation of Slovenian tourism has to enable efficient implementation of functions on the national, regional and local levels, facilitate entrepreneurial development and raise competitiveness as well as provide adequate financial frames for the development of sustainable tourism at the national level. It is essential that the system multi-term winter school holidays be established again. To ensure the key role of tourism in the management of unique selling propositions (USP) of Slovenian tourism. 3. Efficient marketing and promotion of Slovenia Slovenia has to become a recognisable and highly positioned destination at targeted segments. In order to raise recognition and achieve the desired positioning of Slovenia as a tourist destination on selected outgoing markets of Slovenian tourism and among the selected target groups, a consistent use of the brand of Slovenia is to be provided in the entire tourism industry and, at the same time, cooperation with the other implementation fields of the brand of Slovenia is to be intensified. It is essential that adequate means for better promotion and internationalisation of tourism be provided. Tourist products need to be clearly positioned and intensively and efficiently marketed on individual markets within the frame of marketing activities. Slovenia is to be innovatively and efficiently marketed in the virtual world as well, using modern marketing tools and the integration of e-marketing and classical marketing. It is essential that partnerships of all public, private and civil entities of tourism be established

8 and activities be coordinated and implemented with the aim to attain synergy effects at all levels of operation. Objectives and areas of development (priorities are in green) To increase the volume of tourist activity General objective Facilitate the increase of competitiveness Provide a favourable business environment Efficient marketing and promotion of Slovenia Areas/activities of development Development of tourist destinations Inter-ministerial collaboration and favourable normative environment Increase recognisability, reputation and positioning Measures Suitability of human resources structure in light of the economy's needs Organisational structure of Slovenian tourism Competitive tourist products Increase of quality Market segmentation Stimulate R&R and provide adequate basis for the adoption of business decisions Innovative and efficient marketing via the virtual world Promoting innovations Partnership marketing Better accessibility of Slovenia Cooperation in the EU and internationally Investments in tourist infrastructure Deseasonalization

9 The document describes each measure in detail and breaks it down by activities that are to lead to the realisation of the strategy s objectives: - description of the measure, - core of the measure, - objective, - activities having no financial effects, - activities having financial effects, - agency implementing the measure, - participants in the implementation of a measure, - indicators. Strategy evaluation Evaluation and control of implementation of the strategy is a process of supervising activities and results of the branch and the comparison of actual results against the desired ones. The information thus helped with adopting corrective actions and resolving problems. The introduction of a system for effective evaluation and control of strategy implementation is conditional on the availability and accessibility of the necessary data in a certain time interval, and an adequate organisational structure for its implementation. In this strategic period, it is necessary 1. to elaborate the methodology of monitoring the implementation of the Slovene Tourism Strategy, 2. to establish an adequate organisational structure for carrying out evaluation and control of implementation of the development plan and for proposing corrective measures, and 3. to ensure a system of regularly informing all tourist entities of the results of the implementation of the development plan and the proposed corrective measures by organising annual strategic development conferences.

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