Slovakia, a new sustainable tourism destination

Tourism in Slovakia is a sector which reveals interesting room for development, as underlined by the report “Travel & Tourism: Economic Impact 2016” by WTTC – World Travel & Tourism Council. In 2015, Slovakia’s GDP benefit of a tourism direct contribution of 1,8 billion euros (2,4% of total GDP) and it is foreseen to grow up to 2,8 billion (2,7% GDP) by 2026. The total contribution was 4,8 billion euros (6,1% GDP) and it is projected to grow up to 7,1 billion by 2026.

In 2015, the foreign visitors expense was almost 2 billion euros, in particular in the leisure segment (70,7%), as the Slovakia tourism supply is characterised by mountain hiking, thermal tourism and sport events. The majority of the tourism expense came from domestic visitors (53,1% of the direct contribution to GDP).

As reported by World Economic Forum in its “Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report”, Slovakia is 61th out of 141 analysed Countries for tourism competitiveness. The strength points of its tourism supply are “Tourist Service Infrastructure” and “Ground and Port Infrastructure” (both 43th), “Environmental Sustainability” (33th) and “Natural Resources” (50th). On the other hand, there is room for development for “Air Transport Infrastructure” (129th) and “Business Environment” (113th).

Slovakia is subject of investments and development plans in the hotel industry, along with other Eastern Europe Countries. In fact, the Country revealed an orientation to cooperation, as in the case of “Discover Central Europe“. This project is of government initiative and gathers the strengths of Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. It aims to promote this region of Europe to possible tourism flows.

Between 2015 and 2016, tourism flows in Slovakia grew by 19% yoy, as reported by European Travel Commission‘s “European Tourism – Trends and Prospect”. According to this report, the reason of this growth are to be found in the organisation of globally interesting events, such as Downhill Skiing World Cup in Jasnà and European Figure Skating Championship in Bratislava. Most of international tourists were from Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Hungary and Austria. Also origin markets such as Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and France are growing in numbers of arrivals, thanks to promotion policies such as presenting Slovakia at the most important international tourism trade shows and a targeted communication of the Country on the international medias. Moreover, as reported by SACR, the Slovak Tourism Board, Spain (+55,5% of arrivals between 2015 and 2016), China (+41,5%) and Israel (+40,4%) registered an important growth in arrivals, and are foreseen to represent the future origin markets.

Last June Slovak Convention Bureau, in occasion of the event “Good Idea Slovakia” held in Brussels, introduced Slovakia as an ideal country for conventions and meetings, revealing the intention of the Country of investing in the MICE segment, in particular with the capital city Bratislava.

Moreover, Slovakia is also cooperating with Kenya, which is considered to be a strategic Country to penetrate the African market.

According to the UK Foreign Travel Advice, Slovakia is a safe destination and with a lower risk deriving from terrorism threats.

At Twissen we observed that Slovakia is a Country which is developing an interesting tourism market, registering growing performances. In fact, there are important opportunities in the MICE segment and from the growing interest by new origin markets.