Slovenia’s potential generates interest

Slovenia is experiencing a renewed interest in its destination with 24 international congresses booked in this year, up from 19 in 2001. The capital Ljubljana will host the events, which include the 9th Conference of the European Society of General Practice and Family Medicine, the European Congress of Pathology, both for 1,000 delegates, and the International Apicultural Congress for 2,000. The most recent figures from the Union of International Associations (UIA) place Ljubljana just below Nice in its rankings for international meetings cities. Slovenia was also identified as one of the emerging destinations of the decade by UIA with a 95% increase in its meetings market between 1992 and 2001. ICCA data for 2001 placed Slovenia 42nd in the list of top meetings countries and Ljubljana crept into the top 50 cities for the first time, ahead of destinations such as Toronto and Adelaide. Ljubljana Tourist Board congress manager Tatjana Radovic said there is also increased interest from the corporate market. “Our product is getting better and we have seen more interest as a result of our accession to the EU, the economic transformation and investment in our infrastructure over the past two years,” she said. “Many companies now see Slovenia as a pathway into the rest of eastern and southern Europe, so there has been increased activity in the corporate and inter-governmental meetings sectors,” she added. There are plans to build more meeting space with the development of a conference hotel due to open on the coast in 2004, and Slovenia will be exhibiting at major trade shows.

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