Bank of Tourism Potentials in Slovenia (BTPS) promotes networking of ideas and their realisation oportunities in (Slovene) tourism arena. This is our Travel blog, where we will try to find different people willing to write about Slovenia and Slovenian tourism potentials. All in the name of even better tourism for which our Bank of Tourism Potentials is struggling 24/7. Stay tuned to BTPS and stay tuned to series of live reporting from Slovenian tourism scene!

March 14, 2012

Visiting Kranj

Excited to experience Slovenia and get on with our research, we arrived in Ljubljana on Monday where we spent the night at Hostel Celica. On Tuesday, we took the bus to Kranj where the tourism board of Kranj had set up a busy schedule for us with meetings and other arrangements for the next 24 hours. We stayed at Hostel Cukrarna which has a manager who really goes that extra mile to make you feel comfortable and welcome.

The arranged meetings included both the Tourism Board of Kranj, the tourism commision of the municipality of Kranj, Hotel Actum, Hotel Creina and a meeting at the municipality with the mayor and vice-mayors of Kranj. We also had more informal meetings with other stakeholders.

For now our findings include the lack of networking and cooperation between stakeholders, the lack of a focus on specific projects at particular points in time, and the fact that Kranj needs to find a way to use its rich cultural and historical heritage in order to differentiate itself from other similar cities. We have listened to the various stakeholder, and will now work towards creating innovative ideas and solutions to the above issues.

Overall, Slovenia has left us with the impression of having a lot to offer. The Slovenes are very welcoming, open and friendly, and the sights are great. We cannot wait to present our innovative ideas in April.

Anna, Pia & Pernille

Meeting in the City Hall

We arrived to snowy Ljubljana on 20th of February. After collecting our belongings at the airport, Jezersek Catering Company provided us a three course lunch where they presented all kinds of traditional Slovenian food to our class.

After lunch, we drove further to Ljubljana and arrived to the Celica Hostel in the early afternoon. We found the idea of the hostel very innovative; keeping the original size of the former cells definitely provided us a different and rather unusual experience.

Taking the opportunity that the entire class is still in the capital, we spent the first evening in Ljubljana, having a delicious dinner in a pizzeria called Ljubljanski Dvor.

Tuesday morning started with presentations held by one of our teachers, who gave the local representatives a general introduction to the tourism stream at Aalborg University. Furthermore, one representative from the Ministry of Economy and another one from Slovenian Tourism Board introduced us to Slovenian Strategy for 2012-2016.

In order to make our future group work easier in the university, we conducted several interviews as part of our field research;
1. Meeting in the City Hall with the Marketing Director of Ljubljana Municipality.
2. Interview with two representatives and the General Manager of Ljubljana Convention Bureau, who introduced us to some of the challenges concerning Ljubljana´s leisure and business tourism.

During our stay, we had the chance to see the Castle in Ljubljana as well to have an absolutely delicious lunch up there in the restaurant.

As the task of our group is related to Ljubljana’s outskirts, we visited one of the more developed town called Kamnik. Besides meeting the local tourism representatives, we got to see the major sights in town and enjoyed even a rather unexpected tour in the mountains.

Last but not least, we could not miss visiting the Slovenian Coast in the end of our great adventure. Both Piran and Portoroz made a great impression on us, as well as the presentations in Portoroz Touristica.  The social activities organized by the local students gave us a great introduction to Slovenian Culture furthermore they were fun and very entertaining.

In all, we enjoyed every second of our stay and already looking forward to going back to beautiful Slovenia! :-)

March 12, 2012

Koper - Challenge gets challenging

Arriving in Koper by bus we noticed that by first sight the city does not come across as the most interesting place to be. However, it turned out that the unfavorable view from the bus does not at all cover what attractions Koper has to offer. The city took us by surprise and turned out to be both beautiful and charming with a rich history, functional port, Mediterranean climate and fantastic waterfront.

Our tourism challenge is to figure out a way to brand the port in relation to the city and hinterland of Koper. In Koper, we met with both a representative from the port and from the municipality/tourism board and it turned out our task might be quite difficult since it seems we are dealing with two very different approaches to tourism in Koper. The representative from Port of Koper stressed that it is not in the favour of the port to attract tourists in large numbers; on the contrary, the port is mainly interested in the locals and getting them to know of the ports work and of their sustainable approach. Here we were presented with the challenge of developing an existing event of the port called Port Day.

On the other hand, the representative from tourism board was interested in bringing more tourists to Koper outside of the normal tourist season. As we experienced ourselves while staying in Koper, February is indeed a low season for the tourism industry; we stayed all alone in an entire hostel and saw no other tourists walking around the city. Moreover, we were informed that Koper wants to develop tourism focused on culture and history and that the preferred target group should be families with children. We find this very unlikely to be combined and would therefore like to make some other proposals on the subject when we have had the time to work on the case further.

Although we had a great time getting to know Koper and its surroundings, by now it is clear that we are presented with two different tasks or challenges and will either have to choose between them or make individual proposes for the two stakeholders. More to come…

February 28, 2012

36 hours in Bohinj just wasn’t enough

36 hours in Bohinj just wasn’t enough! Our group arrived in Bohinjska Bistrica on Tuesday afternoon and we were already awaited by a nice young man from the hotel who was there to pick us up. After we checked into the EKO Park Hotel, we were eager to find out what Bistrica had to offer. We had a little stroll around town, talked to some of the shop owners and admired the beautiful scenery of the snow-covered Julian Alps.

The next day we met Polona Meglič who is responsible for the Public Relations of the Park Hotel as well as Anže Čokl, the CEO. It was great to hear about the hotel’s vision and strategy, what kind of challenges it faced and how they had been operating so far. We really appreciated the open dialogue and sincerity that we were greeted with. After our conversation we had the opportunity to visit the Triglav National Park with a tour guide who shared a lot of his insight from his long work experience with us. I think I speak for my whole group if I say that we were in awe of the beauty of this place!

Driving back to Bohinj Bistrica, we then had a meeting with Klemen Langus who was telling us about his struggle to initiate and ensure cooperation between different stakeholders in the Bohinj region. Now it is up to us to come up with some -hopefully innovative- ideas to make sure that more tourists know about the EKO Park Hotel and the Bohinj region in general.

We would have liked to stay longer and the week was over a lot quicker than expected. Slovenia was full of
positive surprises and I am sure that many of us will return!

Tatjana, Anne Cecilie and Elena

Already missing Slovenia

Greetings from cold and rainy Denmark. We already missing Slovenia, especially missing the sunny weather of wonderful Portoroz. Our impressions of Slovenia are very possitive and nice places we have visited will stay in our memories for long time. Slovenia is such a destination with hospitable and kind people, open to new ideas and welcoming tourist from all around the world.

We were a group of three girls visiting Bled lake. Meeting different stakeholders of Bled, private and public, we got an overview of their thoughts and ideas regarding development of tourism in Bled and attracting more tourists during winter period. The beauty of frozen Bled lake has enchanted us at first sight and we were really amazed by the comfort and peace one can find there. Natural and also cultural potential of Bled is huge but of course development and modernization is needed.

So now hard work is waiting for us. We collected a lot of materials about Bled and we have spoken to many different people. Our task is to solve the problem of insufficient number of tourist during the winter period. We are looking forward to Innovation workshop tommorow where we can work on our ideas and think of potential opportunities to improve the situation of Bled and to solve the problem of Winter In Bled.

Have a beautiful day and we will come back to you soon.

Katka, Diana  and Maninder

Impressions of Ljubljana

Me and my classmates arrived in Slovenia on 20th February. Coming from windy Copenhagen we expected nice warm weather here in the south. However a snowy day welcomed us. To be honest it makes the country look quite beautiful, so we didn’t mind it. Our first stop was traditional Slovenian restaurant Kulinarično središče Okusiti Slovenijo to taste the local cuisine. Quite different and interesting from what we are all used to.

The next few days we spent in the capital. We were working on the project of hostel Celica going green. The hostel has unique style, history and atmosphere. The group had important meetings and discussion with the management of the hostel. They were quite honest to us and told us of their plans and problems. Our task is to see if we can suggest solutions to those problems and see if there is something they missed so they can implement it in their future plans of development.

Of course we had some free time and we really enjoyed it. Ljubljana is a beautiful city full of history. The tour around the city was fascinating and interesting. The view from the top of the castle is magnificent. The people are warm and welcoming and that made our stay unforgettable.

After our stay in the capital we headed for the coastline of Slovenia. But more on that in the next blog…

February 17, 2012

Brainstorming on Ljubljana

Hello everyone,

we are five students with different cultural background studying Tourism Management at Ålborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark; Mette - Denmark, Judit - Hungary, Kasia and Magdalena – Poland and Petar – Bulgaria.

We have been assigned to work on a case concerning "Ljubljana and the outskirts-creating synergies and unique experiences".

We are in the phase of brainstorming and doing some desk research at the moment. The aim of our group is to find an innovative way to develop Slovenian tourism which might be done through improved marketing or product innovation.

Besides our academical objectives we are very much looking forward to experiencing the Slovenian culture and the local people’s hospitality. :)

Getting ready for Bohinj

Only 3 days to go and we finally fly out to Slovenia! An all-girls international group made up of a Dane, a Bulgarian and a German is very excited to travel to Bohinj and investigate the challenges of the Bohinj EKO Park Hotel.

We all know that green travel becomes more and more important and that a growing number of tourists are very eager to stay in environmental-friendly hotels. Our research and investigation will focus on promoting the Bohinj Park Hotel to foreign countries. We want to find approaches to market the one-of-a-kind hotel to the American, Japanese and Scandinavian market. We will also concentrate on finding solutions to prolong the logical tourist season and will try to distinguish which part of the public is most suitable to traveling in spring and autumn.

We are so happy to have the opportunity to experience an all-around tour through the Bohinj Park Hotel and discuss the hotel’s vision, goals and strategy with the director Anže Čokl. We are also eager to meet Klemen Langus, the director of the local tourist organization and learn more about the destination’s tourism objectives and be given examples of good practice.

Our group is very looking forward to a challenging and stimulating experience for both sides and we can’t wait for it to begin!

See you next week! Elena, Anne Cecilie and Tatjana

Going to Bled

So, we are leaving in a couple of days for Slovenia. I honestly confess the only image I had on this country was of a small island in the middle of a beautiful lake. Lucky me and lucky us, that’s where we are going, in Bled.

We are going as tourists and amateur researchers. We really hope we can get a clue on why tourists are not going anymore in Bled for the winter. That’s kind of the picture.

P.S. We are Maninder, Katka and Diana

Revitalization of the Koper port - preparations

Studying on the 8th semester on the Tourism Master program at Aalborg University we are a part of an innovation project where we should develop Slovenia as a tourism destination. In connection to this we are working on developing the city of Koper from being an industrial city to an attractive tourism destination, which means changing the tourism from mass to class.

Before arriving to Slovenia we have been reading about the city and different travel blogs in order to get a better understanding of the history of the city and to know about the image it has among tourists.

After looking at this we realized that the city has a lot to offer, but that there is also room for improvement if it wants to attract more tourists. Our plan is therefore first of all to focus on what Koper can offer the tourists and here the port is of course going to be an essential part. Furthermore, we want to look at what the target group of the city should be and if the city should develop new offers in order to attract more tourists. When we have studied this we are thinking about using our findings to develop the most appropriate marketing strategy for the city and to find the best brand/slogan for Koper.

We look forward to experience what Slovenia, particularly the city of Koper, has to offer. Also, we expect to develop skills that are essential for our future career and professional performance.