Portorož, 19 April (STA) - The Slovenia Incoming Workshop (SIW), the top B2B event of the Slovenian tourism industry, kicked off in the seaside resort of Portorož on Friday, bringing together representatives of 128 Slovenian and 109 foreign tourist companies from 32 countries.
Most prospective buyers come from Russia, Italy, Austria and Germany. The organisers moreover recorded an increase in participants from China, Kuwait, India and Japan.
For the first time ever, tourist representatives from South Korea and Egypt are in attendance. After the official opening this morning, an estimated 2,500 meetings were to be held through tomorrow.
After a record-breaking 2012, Slovenia's tourism sector expects a good turnout for 2013 as well. Last year a total of 3.3 million tourists visited Slovenia which was 2.5% more than the year before.
Acting director of Spirit, the agency tasked with promoting Slovenia as an investment and tourism destination, Boštjan Skalar said that forecast for May was very good. "Our goal is to reach 10 million overnight stays nation-wide."
Economic Development and Technology Minister Stanko Stepišnik said in his address that tourism could be a great opportunity in the times of crisis. "It may employ many young people."
"At the ministry we will do everything to provide strong support for tourism." In 2013, the state provided EUR 8m for tourism and promotion, which is the same as in 2012, the minister said.