Tourism has grown steadily in the last decade in Slovenia, with international arrivals more than doubling from 2010 to 2019. Tourism directly contributed 5.4% of total GDP in 2019, which increases to 8.5% with indirect effects included. Tourism-related sectors employed 7.7% of total workforce in 2019. As a result of COVID-19, tourism’s direct contribution fell to 3.3% of GDP in 2020, or EUR 1.5 billion, and tourism employment fell to 7.0% of the national workforce. Tourism exports decreased by almost 60% to EUR 1.2 billion.

In 2019, Slovenia recorded 4.7 million international tourists in accommodation establishments. The impacts of COVID-19 saw this fall 74.1% to 1.2 million in 2020. This increased to 1.8 million in 2021, but still remained 61.0% below 2019 levels. There was a decrease of 51% in total arrivals and a 42% decrease in nights in 2020. The number of international arrivals in 2020 decreased by 74.1%.

The large decline in international tourists was partially compensated by domestic tourists, which increased by 21% in 2020 and a further 17.4% to 3.2 million tourists in 2021. This increase in domestic tourists saw the domestic share of tourism expenditure in Slovenia increase to 47% in 2020, up from 28% in 2019. Slovenia expects tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.

At the parliamentary level, the Committee for the Economy is responsible for tourism-related legislation. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (MEDT) is the main government department responsible for providing and implementing national tourism policy. MEDT co-operates and consults with the tourism sector and social partners to reflect the close partnership between the public and private sectors and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dealing with tourism issues.

The Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) oversees the promotion of Slovenia as a tourism destination and related marketing activities. The STB is also responsible for tourist information and data, product development, stakeholder networking, and market research and development. The STB programme of work is adopted on an annual basis and is financed by the national budget.

Twelve Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) undertake tourism development at the regional level. RDAs report to the Regional Councils comprised of the mayors of the local communities in each region. Regional tourism development is governed according to national legislation and strategic development objectives, but specific regional development objectives are included in the overall regional plans. At the local level, each mayor and Community Council is responsible for tourism development according to national legislation and strategic objectives, but with specific local tourism development goals.

In 2020, Slovenia established a Tourism Advisory Council as a special working group comprised of industry representatives, tourism policymakers, the STB and NGOs related to tourism. The Council monitors the current situation in tourism and the impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine on the Slovenian tourism sector.

The overall national budget for tourism in 2022 is EUR 63.3 million (EUR 25 million in national funds and EUR 38 million in EU funds). The national budget allocated for tourism development at the local and municipal level and for the operating programme of the Slovene Tourism Board (STB) comes primarily from tourist taxes for overnight stays and concession fees for gambling. The budget has been significantly reduced due to the decrease in the number of visitors due to travel restrictions in 2020-21. The 2021 budget was EUR 14.4 million, up from EUR 12.3 million in 2020 but still below the 2019 budget of EUR 17.4 million. For 2022, the budget allocation for the STB programme was EUR 16 million.

EU Funds, including NextGenEU and React EU, provide investments of EUR 80 million in green, digital and sustainable infrastructure for industry and destinations, for example, investing EUR 50 million in the transformation of mountain destinations.

The Recovery and Resilience Plan of Slovenian Tourism 2020-23, the new Strategy for Slovene Tourism 2022-28, and the recently adopted Strategy for Digital Transformation of Slovenian Tourism 2022-26 define the tourism policy and programmes for Slovenian tourism until 2028. Tourism also features in the Slovenian Industrial Strategy 2030.

The Slovenian Tourism Strategy 2022-28 represents the basic framework for developing Slovenian tourism. The Strategy responds to the new circumstances and challenges and develops and promotes the key advantages of Slovenian tourism (see box below).

The green transition remains the priority in all plans for the recovery and resilience of Slovenian tourism and is a basic principle for the strategic development of tourism in the future. The main tourism development objectives are the green and digital breakthrough of Slovenian tourism with a co-ordinated strategic approach required by the changed consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 crisis and Russia’s the war in Ukraine. Slovenia committed itself to sustainable and green tourism long before the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to balance the needs of tourists with those of the destination and local population. This remains the priority in all plans for recovery and resilience and will continue as a basic principle for the future strategic development of Slovenian tourism.

One of the main tools for promoting green and sustainable tourism is the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism (GSST), a certification programme and tool developed at the national level under the Slovenia Green brand. This programme requires strict national and international standards for responsible tourism to be followed. The growing number of members of the GSST further helps promote Slovenia as a destination committed to green and sustainable tourism.

Slovenia has taken numerous measures to enable the survival and active operation of the Slovenian tourism sector in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine. Slovenia provided more than EUR 1 billion in aid to the tourism sector within the ten COVID-19 packages and a special intervention law that helped the hospitality and tourism sector mitigate the pandemic’s effects, preserve jobs, and alleviate corporate liquidity problems. Among them is a special measure for a one-time supplement of EUR 10 million for the most affected segments of the tourism sector. It aims to help the most affected companies restart their activities after lifting the restrictions related to COVID-19. Companies will be able to obtain up to EUR 6 000 in aid per employee.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at