AROUND SLOVAKIA

Bratislava overshadowed as tourist destination

BRATISLAVA has been ranked a lowly 149th among world capital cities in terms of visitor numbers in an international comparison. The study, by market data firm Euromonitor, was based on 2007 figures and placed the Czech capital Prague in 19th, and other neighbouring capitals like Warsaw and Budapest in relatively high positions.

BRATISLAVA has been ranked a lowly 149th among world capital cities in terms of visitor numbers in an international comparison. The study, by market data firm Euromonitor, was based on 2007 figures and placed the Czech capital Prague in 19th, and other neighbouring capitals like Warsaw and Budapest in relatively high positions.

"I did not know about this study, but the data seem credible,” Bratislava Council’s Milan Vajda told the Nový Čas daily.

"It proves that from the point of view of tourism, we still have much to improve". According to Vajda, Bratislava came eighth in Europe in terms of increasing its number of foreign visitors. In 2007, it was visited by about half a million foreign tourists, which is – according to the Euromonitor study - about 100,000 more than in 2006. In spite of this, the city has slipped 42 places in the chart. First place was occupied by London, which was visited by more than 15 million tourists in 2007.

Travel experts say tourism growth to European cities will decrease in the future, while increasing to Asian cities, Nový Čas reported. Three Asian capitals are already in the current top ten: Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore.

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