Ljubljana, 24 January (STA) - Slovenian natural spas recorded 680,910 guests last year, who generated around 2.86 million overnight stays, 4% more than in 2010, a conference hosted by the Slovenian Natural Spa Association and the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) heard on Tuesday.
STO director Maja Pak said that the 15 Slovenian natural spas last year generated 32% of the total overnight stays in Slovenia.
Natural spas have maintained the leading position in Slovenian tourism in terms of overnight stays for 20 years, she added at the press conference in Ljubljana.
In 2011, most of the foreign guests came from Austria, Italy, Russia, Germany and Croatia, generating a combined 72% of total overnight stays. Tourists from Ukraine, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Belgium meanwhile recorded the biggest growth.
Tourists stay in Slovenia for three days on average, while natural spa guests stay for four days. Russians are an exception, as half of them go to Slovenian spas for an average of ten days after visiting the country's tourist destinations.
Global trends suggest that demand for wellness among tourists will continue to increase, which is why natural spas can count on revenue growth, according to Pak.
Spa Association head Iztok Altbauer assessed that Slovenian tourism was in good shape compared to other sectors of the economy. He noted that the number of Slovenian guests was rising despite the difficult economic situation.