The number of foreign visitors to Slovakia rose 14 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year to almost 820,000, the SITA newswire wrote. The number of nights that foreign tourists spent in Slovakia grew to almost 2.5 million, which is 6.6 percent more than a year ago. But the average length of foreign visitors' stay in Slovakia has shortened, representatives of the Slovak Tourism Agency (SACR) told a news conference on November 25.
The highest increase in foreign tourists' visits to Slovakia involves tourists from Poland, since 32 percent more tourists from this country visited Slovakia in H1 2008. Ján Bosnovič of SACR's foreign representation in Poland said that Poles' worries about price growth in Slovakia following euro introduction may be behind this development.
The number of visitors from Russia increased by a mere 2 percent, but that is still enough for tour operators to report that the winter season will be balanced, said Ľubica Alusicová of SACR's foreign representation in Russia.
"If hotels in Slovakia increase prices to levels in Austria or Italy, Russians will switch to these destinations, since they have a higher standard of services," she said.
According to Martin Horvath, head of the SACR's tourism marketing section, Slovakia’s entry into the eurozone is a big competitive advantage in the building of its brand name in tourism. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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