Ljubljana, 27 September (STA) - Slovenia wants to increase the number of tourists arriving by air and plans to attract new budget carriers by co-financing the marketing budgets for at least five new routes, according to plans unveiled by the government and the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO).
The STO will carry out all the necessary activities for joint advertising campaigns with low-cost carriers, Marjan Hribar, the acting head of the Economy Ministry's tourism directorate, told the press on World Tourism Day on Tuesday.
The move is in line with a decision taken by the government yesterday to promote new routes linking Slovenia to the key tourist markets in 2012, which is one of the key measures to improve the competitiveness of Slovenian tourism.
The co-financing will be carried out based on a public call for applications that the STO is expected to release shortly.
Slovenia is currently served by two budget carriers. UK-based no-frills carrier Easyjet operates Ljubljana-London Stansted and Ljubljana-Paris routes and a start-up, Golden Air, has recently announced it will offer scheduled flights between Maribor and London Stansted from October.
The Statistics Office reported 1.76 million tourists visiting Slovenia in the first seven months of the year, up 6.2% over the year before. Foreign tourists numbered over a million, up 9.3%, while the number of Slovenian tourists inched 1.4% higher.