SLOVAKIA, along with its capital Bratislava, got a promotional boost in the USA in mid-April as part of a tourism roadshow organised by marketing association Central European Experience (CEE).
The roadshow was attended by almost 300 American tour-operators, the head of the trade and commerce section at Slovakia's Washington embassy, Peter Petian, told the TASR newswire.
"Mostly, the problem is low recognition of Slovakia as a country," said Petian, who represented Slovakia at the event. He said the American tour-operators appreciated that high-quality information on the region was available, but said they knew precious little – and added that the same goes for American tourists.
"They know it was Czechoslovakia some time ago... a few people visited Prague, but only a handful have ever come to Slovakia," he lamented.
Events such as the CEE are very important, Petian said, adding:
"If the average American doesn't know anything about Slovakia, his travel agency won't offer any package tours to the country."
American tour-operators are now becoming interested in historical sightseeing, according to the diplomat.
"They are mostly interested in history, in our ancient towns, little wooden churches, castles, manor houses and spas. They showed less interest in skiing," Petian commented, adding that Americans were keen on visiting the mint in Kremnica (Banská Bystrica Region) and were intrigued by the fact that Košice will be a European Capital of Culture in 2013.
26. Apr 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská