Foreign tourist overnight stays (63.9% in total) rose by 3.2% y/y in February, decelerating from the strong 25.2% y/y in January, according to preliminary data released by the stats office. Foreign arrivals rose by 4.6%, also moderating from 21.0% y/y in January. Domestic overnight stays fell by 3.2% y/y switching from a 14.0% rise in the month before. Domestic arrivals were also down, by 2.8% y/y following growth of 15.7% y/y in January. The number of overall tourist overnight stays rose by 7.2% and arrivals were higher by 9.6% y/y. Most of the foreign nights in February were of visitors from Slovenia (19.7% share in stays), Austria (10.6%), and Italy (7.6%).
March witnessed significant speeding in the number of foreign arrivals and nights as well as in domestic tourism, which is partially on the back of the different timing of the Easter holiday, which was in March this year while in April in 2017. Yet, latest developments suggest another record high year for the sector. Tourism minister Gari Cappelli said that the expectations are for a 5-7% rise in the numbers in 2018 basing his expectations on reservations while tourism board chief Kristijan Stanicic expects the numbers to rise by 10-15% y/y in H1.