Culture is the new tourism

For a better life


“We are committing ourselves to the realisation of this European Capital of Culture so that places get their own visibility; so that visitors get to know people and places; so that real art and culture are separated from bad copies and shoddy approximations; so that we are aware of history and for a better life,” announced Stojan Pelko, Head of Programme of GO! 2025, presenting the European Capital of Culture to the tourist operators.


As part of the Spring of Tourism, the Vipava Valley Tourism Exchange, which took place in Bukovica a few days ago, the possibilities that the European Capital of Culture in 2025 brings were also discussed. To the participants, Slovenian and foreign tour operators, we presented some of the innovative tourism products related to culture, in order to stimulate the creation of ideas and products that operators might not have thought of before. According to Andreja Repič Agrež, marketing manager of GO! 2025, our task is to show a broader dimension of culture, how very different cultural elements fit into the usual tourist offer and how we can thus enrich what the area already has to offer.


Previous European Capitals of Culture have shown us that this unique programme offers a way to get to know cities through authentic experiences: for example, staying in a historical flat, visiting the city in a non-traditional way under the guidance of a local, or travelling with a driver who can give useful advice. This type of experiential stay will be different from the usual overnight stays in modern hotels. Culinary and wine activities in the Hungarian capital have been combined with masterclasses, guided tastings, culinary experiences, Michelin-starred dinners, dance and music performances, theatre shows, round tables, etc.


Andreja Repič Agrež described the profile of the tourist travelling driven by culture. “If the classic tourist coming to Slovenia is a man between the ages of 25 and 35, the classic cultural tourist is essentially a cultural tourist, in fact two thirds of cultural tourists are women between the ages of 45 and 65. Cultural tourism is not only about visiting cultural events – and there will be many in the context of the European Capital of Culture 2025 – but also about integrating culture into everything else on offer.”


Among the most important artistic interventions in the CEC programme, Stojan Pelko exhibited: Zoran Mušič’s presentation and exhibition in six locations (Bukovica, Kromberk, Gorica, Bled, Dobrovo, Štanjel), Alexander Gadjiev’s piano performance on the Salcano bridge and masterclasses in Gorica, the MN Dance Company’s dance performance in the Salcano quarry, the Godba na pihala wind instrument ensemble at the opening ceremony, the travelling cinema throughout the territory