Slovenia will be hosting next week the 21st International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the biggest event of its kind, hoping to boost its popularity among golf travel organisers from across the world, which account for 80% of golf tourism revenue, reports STA.
Addressing the press on Friday, Slovenian tourism representatives expressed hope that the IGTM, Organised by Reed Exhibition, one of the biggest event organisers in the world, would also pave the way for more global events being held in Slovenia.
About 1,100 participants from more than 60 countries, representing 740 golf courses, resorts and hotels are expected at the IGTM between Monday and Thursday.
The event will take place at the Gospodarsko Razstavišče fairgrounds and the Cankarjev Dom culture centre, according to Žiga Osterc, the head of the Golf Tourism Association.
Maja Pak, the head of Slovenian Tourist Board (STO), added that more than 40 media outlets specialising in golf would also be in Ljubljana for the event.
Currently, some 120 participants are currently touring golf destinations in Slovenia, Austria, Italy and Croatia. In Slovenia, they are visiting the golf courses in Moravske Toplice, Otočec, Bled, Lipica, Bovec and Ljubljana.
The participants are not only golf travel providers but also representatives of big global travel organisers. The event will promote golf "but we believe it is vital that they also get to see other tourism segments," according to Osterc.
The short-term effects of IGTM in Ljubljana are estimated to create at least 1,500 overnights in the capital, according to Petra Stušek, the boss of Visit Ljubljana, the city's tourism service. She added that golfers spend about EUR 200 per day, four-times the average.
Eva Štravs Podlogar, the Economy Ministry state secretary in charge of tourism, also said today that golf course operators would be able to get favourable loans for investment in tourism from the SID bank, the national development and export bank.