As international travel regains traction, various countries are collaborating to fill in one another’s gaps in key sectors for growth. Slovakia and Spain, in particular, are working together to usher in a new age of connected mobility for the Southern European destination and increased tourism for the Central European republic. Slovakia is an electric car manufacturing hub in Europe, so working with them could help Spain meet their 2024 energy targets and the priorities of eco-conscious tourists. On the other hand, landlocked Slovakia recorded 12.3 million visitors in 2022, while Spain attracted an astounding 71.6 million. With the strengthening of bilateral relations and exchange of expertise between the two countries, a lot can be learned from how Spain has managed their ever-growing influx of tourists.
Benefitting from Spain’s tourism expertise
Spain is the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination: from China alone, the number of Spain-bound tourists increased by 420% earlier this year. European travelers also prioritize the destination for easy and relatively affordable access to a beach, compared to far-flung destinations like Hawaii and the Caribbean. Spain is well-known for its culture and heritage sites, but it has become renowned among younger tourists as a popular party destination. Many people book holidays to Ibiza, specifically, to experience a different side of Spain. The Balearic island’s famed nightclubs are known for attracting celebrities and world-famous DJs. All-inclusive packages at various resorts allow tourists to indulge in music and refreshments while remaining budget-conscious. Ibiza’s western enclaves are relatively quieter, featuring hiking trails, natural landscapes, and serene beaches, giving travelers the best of both worlds on one island. Thanks to budget airlines, low-cost travel around Europe has become more affordable than ever, allowing tourists from nearby countries to enjoy Spain’s famed coastlines and cultural spots. To support its flights to nearly 160 European destinations, easyJet has unveiled plans to order an additional 147 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The expanded availability of aircraft means tourists can stretch their funds and visit more of Europe’s hidden gems, like Bratislava. In anticipation of visitor surges, Slovakia is improving its tourism strategy in a few ways.
Slovakia’s push for tourism
Slovakia is working to make their destination more accessible for prospective tourists; this month, they secured a Schengen Visa outsourcing deal with BLS International Services Ltd, which Spain extended their contract with earlier this year. This contract enhances and simplifies the visa application experience, making their 95.31% visa approval rate even more appealing. Expanding its demographic from European visitors, Slovakia participated in this year’s Arabian Travel Market 2023 in a bid to attract tourists from the nearby Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Promotions for the Trnava region, in particular, began in December 2022, when key GCC influencers from Bahrain and the UAE were flown in to visit key tourist spots and wellness locations. For its part, the Ministry of Transport is promoting vocational education and training to upskill the tourism sector’s workforce, developing a National Tourist System to transform the country into an attractive tourist destination. Following the footsteps of Spain, Slovakia is working towards the goals detailed in its Sustainable Tourism Strategy for 2030. This focuses on various aspects, such as conserving the country’s rich natural resources and heritage sites, as well as the promotion and improvement of tourism facilities such as ZSSK public rail transport, which provides zero-fare rides for eligible passengers. European destinations like Slovakia and Spain have a breadth of activities to offer, from quaint historical discoveries to energizing gatherings. As these countries continue to bolster their tourist appeal, prospective travelers can look forward to more frequent but economical visits.