Posted by on 27 Jun 2011. Filed under Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Slovak Tourist Board Hopes to Boost Tourism

The Slovak Tourist Board (SACR) has adopted a new marketing strategy by which it hopes to boost tourism by up to 3% in 2011-2013.

The plan is to increase domestic tourism by 2% and foreign tourism by 3%, while head of SACR Peter Belinsky has said that the first results were already evident after the winter.

Bratislava (c) The Daily

Just like the tourism strategy, an upcoming amendment to the Act on Tourism hopes to see more intense co-operation between the public and private sectors, which should lead to qualitative changes in Slovak tourism.

The new bill hopes to create favourable conditions for the establishment of destination organisations, which will combine the interests of villages, regions and the private sector. The system of ‘destination management’, although all but absent in Slovakia, has been around in Europe for over 20 years already.

There are many other ways to boost tourism, such as by the use of a Tidy towns programme, which would lead to co-operation between local business, foreign companies operating in regions and local government. A simple competition could be organised by the departments of the environment, heritage or tourism and local government, in order to honour the tidiest and most attractive cities, towns and villages in Slovakia.

Such a competition could begin in spring and run during the summer months, while being judged by an independent panel of judges, possibly celebrities and public figures, who would assess the progress of each town or village, while providing suggestions on how each community might improve their general surroundings. Local authorities of towns and villages could reward residents for their personal efforts, and this would result also in public awareness and raise national pride.

Many countries throughout the world have been operating these types of programmes successfully for many years, including Ireland, Britain, the USA and even distant Australia.  Tidy towns also raise international awareness, boost domestic and international tourism and so have a knock-on effect on revenues generated from tourism, whilst boosting employment and promoting national crafts and dying cottage industries .

 

 

29 Comments for “Slovak Tourist Board Hopes to Boost Tourism”

  1. George M

    Oh Heavens James Baxter, that is at least 6 times you have agreed with me, whilst pretending I am the one acting like Lord Huff Huff !

    What a total hypocrite you are !

    The fact is, no one has yet disproved a word I have said ! Just spend paragraphs fancying their own little anecdotal tale with some positive drivel ….’The people I had who’ve visited me from Britain, and who’ve otherwise enjoyed this country, have commented on. ‘ Yes, right James, love the trees, hated the poverty of the Roma and that the place is a huge rubbish dump ….As For Moel, we had to go on Motor Bike trip to Sencia ( a town, not a village BTW ) to hear his tale of the new improved DreamLand.

    • James Baxter

      Nice little rant George, just wondering if you’ve ever heard the term ‘nuance’, though(?) In this context, it means that no country is either a civilised paradise or a dump, it’s somewhere in between.

      Yes, if you want me to say it, I agree on two basic points you’ve made – that public areas in villages can be depressingly untidy and that people need to take more responsibility. I also feel strongly enough about these things to have written these posts on them. But I don’t find it the full story, as I’ve tried to say before, and your whole ‘most Slovaks are total peasants’ attitude (quoting one line from this thread) is one I simply can’t relate to.

      As for the hypocrite charge, best laugh I’ve had since your last personal insult. Takes one to know one I guess.

    • Noel Flannery

      I have heard it referred to locally as crossroads and actually my daughter lives there so I actually know the demographics quite, well as I do for Skalica where she was born almost three years ago. So your assumptions and presumptions, as usual are well of base.
      Had you actually read my articles in their entirety you know this.
      As for your ex-neighbours in slovakia, I am sure they are crying salty tears now that you have moved to somewhere civilised. I bet property values have risen since you relocated. I image, you like a certain other grouch who lived in a trash can, not happy where every you lay your hat.

      • George M

        Actually Moel , property prices where I used to live have decreased and prices where I now live have INCREASED by 20% yoy , so stick that in your pipe and…… . I gave up trying to improve the look of the Old Town flat where I used to live …some people being allowed to opt out a new lift system because of the cost, some wanting the Building fund pcm payment to be reduced, rather than increased . Whilst they live in 275K flat, at a prestigious address, that had not been renovated in 40 years , the rest of the building could just fall down around them, because they could not the afford the running costs and pay for the up keep. Their Social status of once being a VIP ( well a Slovak VIP ) even made them refuse to consider downsizeing to something they could afford ….I mean what would people think eh ? Better we all just watch the plaster fall off the outside walls !

        As for James Baxter, still sliding on the slippery bulshite pole I see …not long before even you Luke, turn to the Dark Side :-) ….

        • Noel Flannery

          Funny how you lived in the old but you claimed to live close to the wooded area by the tram lines George you are full of lines, but the only hook and sinkers are taken by you, hooked and sunk, as per usual. And the funniest thing today is you are stranger than fiction, ie. someone thinks you are fictitious and some of know you are strange.
          Happy days for you George eh.

          • George M

            Moel, Ever heard of owning TWO (in my case 6 property, some rented out) and EVEN moving homes, just once in a while when empty?

            I guess being a part time news blogger and potato picker does not pay so well ?? Not much between those old ears either is there Moel ???

  2. Bagpuss

    Beginning in autumn, police officers in Slovakia will be able to directly read on their cars that their duty is to help and protect people – just in case they forget why they are on duty – stated the Police Corps President, Jaroslav Spišiak, at a news conference on June 27, the SITA newswire reported. The “Help and Protect” emblem will be placed on thousands of police cars as well as on vehicles of the integrated rescue service, fire fighters and the civil defence service.

    Just in case they forget why they are on duty ?? So much for, Come to Slovakia, to find a well educated and skilled work force ?

    Not much good moaning about some commenter trashing and insulting the local natives, when they do a very good job of trashing themselves !

  3. Alec hodges

    Dear Noel,
    Whatever you write seems to draw the “truhliks” out of the woodwork.
    The whole scenario is reminiscent of anti subversive war game training. Surely no normal person would dare write such insulting inflammatory material that condemns a whole nation,whilst living in their country. Please Noel, tell me – George M – it’s a wind up fictitious character, created to stimulate response. If that is not the case then that person should at least have the decency to moderate their language and show respect to others.

    • George M

      Oh dear Alec , the Apologist for all things Slovak ….Have you never heard of free speech ? I I would of course love to see all things from your point of view, but I can’t seem to get my head that far up my own backside .

      Coffee time , so I’m going back to playing my Grand Piano …whilst Alec brushes his tongue and blows his brown nose .

    • Noel Flannery

      No Alex,
      I swear he is for real, at least to himself.
      He seems to be my nemesis or some form of divine retribution against me for succumbing to the charms Slovakia. It all started when I asked for some form of decorum in the comments to one of fist articles I wrote for the daily, He asked who was I to act as referee. I was the author of the article, but I choose to let him ramble on. Since then it seems I am the focus of his caustic existence, while at the same time running down and trashing the country he has chosen to live in, maybe he was sentenced to serve a form of prison term here. Slovakia may well be Georges Van Diemen’s Land.
      But neither I or anyone at the daily know Georges true identity or nationality. George the international man of dysentery.

      • George M

        Actually Moel, I voted with my feet and moved country and current live, although not work, with a much more civilised group of people .

        Time to pass the Spitoon around the locals eh ? If you’re real good I’ll let you drink from it later . I am sure Alec would just love to join you, .

    • James Baxter

      Alec, he’s got to be real, you couldn’t make him up! I’m with you on one thing – I don’t like this whole ‘I’ve been here 15 years and you just can’t get the servants’ shtick either. It’s reminiscent of the District Collector and the Major in their dickie-bows at the gymkhana club in 1920s British India.

      At the same time, this article (which I think presents a very decent idea) and the debate highlight a couple of things that genuinely bother me in Slovakia. The first is the scruffiness of public areas in a lot of small towns and villages. This is something people who’ve visited me from Britain, and who’ve otherwise enjoyed this country, have commented on and I do think it’s a bigger problem than in some other countries.

      And the whole ‘taking responsibility’ thing is another. I experience it in the job I do – it really is remarkable how quick some people are to blame their own failings on someone else’s supposed unfairness, inflexibility etc even when they’ve been given every opportunity to correct those failings. Also depressing is how quick their family members are to support them in this.

      Blaming the village authorities for your village looking untidy is another example – and obviously more relevant to this thread.

      I knew a Slovak guy 3 years or so ago who’d lived in Australia. When I asked him what he’d missed about Slovakia while he was there, he said (tongue-in-cheek) that it was the unpredictability – the walking in the dark down streets where only half the lights were working, not knowing whether, any second, you might fall into a hole etc. In other words, he’d found Australia a bit ascetic, a bit too perfect.

      There was a time when I could have related to this but less so today when money has been coming into Slovakia. Noel may be right and it’s a question of time before things improve. If not, and we still have untidy villages, badly kept woodland, holes in the pavements etc in a few more years, complaints about civic pride will be even more justified than they are now.

  4. Bagpuss

    I tend to agree with George . I have lived in Slovakia for 15 years , been a Slovak boss, their employer and have some nice Slovak friends , but boy in general , what a lazy, apathetical and negative race of people . It is like they stand with their finger up their bum , just praying for someone other than them to do something ! A one man hunger strike outside Parliament, just about sums up peoples interest in MP’s corruption even being penalized !

    From my personal knowledge EU funds millions Dollars have flooded into Slovakia, since 1993. Much has been lost and unaccounted for in various odd projects . Is there a prosecution pending or people ‘do something’ protest movement ???
    No, everyone just shakes their head and says this is Slovakia and on we go!

    • Noel Flannery

      Take a look at Skalica for instance, my first time there was in 2009 and I can see many positive things happening there, also the cross roads AKA Senica the main town center is under going some major positive upgrades. Again it all takes time. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
      For instance how long did it take to remove the “Pitscapes ” in Britain left in the wake of Thatcher’ism and turn them into Public amenities. An example of which is the Plank Lane colliery in the North East of England. For over 100 years the Plank Lane area of Leigh was a major source of employment for the town and surrounding area until 1992 when the pit finally closed. In all this time the skyline of Plank Lane was dominated by the looming dark towers of the Bickershaw Colliery Pit head!
      All is not doom and gloom though, the whole bickershaw site is redeveloped into what maybe the biggest country park in Europe as part of the The Bickershaw Project .
      So basically its all about time. And Like all things this too will pass.

      • George M

        Moel, I am talking about Civic and Personal pride …clearing waste land, rubbish and graffiti removal, tree planing and regular grass cutting, not building the new Euro Disney ….

        • Noel Flannery

          Nothing wrong with building a new Euro Disney, lots of tourism, many airports to service it and plenty of geo-thermal sources to power and provide water. Well done George not a bad suggestion.
          BTW the article was not about exclusively civic pride. Slovaks generally are proud of their heritage. Obviously a hell of a lot prouder than you are of yours are you seem to avoid it.

  5. Lubo Maslik

    Hi George,
    You are absolutely wrong. How you can judge the pride of Slovak people? Collecting the street rubbish has no relation to pride of the people. Everywhere are stupid people who throwing rubbish. This is not only problem of Slovakia. The problem of Slovak villages is usually not efficient village management not pride of people. There are villages where things works, the rubbish is collected, flowers and trees are planted, old rubbish dumps are cleaned…
    I also not agree with your opinion that nation’s richness can be measured on presence of big houses.
    Most of those big houses ware build during communism. To build pretty looking parks people need money. Except Bratislava region the level of living of people in Slovak villages is much below European average. So you can not judge pride of Slovaks based on absenting nice places in villages. It’s childish.

    Lubo

    • George M

      I know and have lived with groups of people in many towns and villages in many countries, that join together and for free to create nice areas and even collect the rubbish create a better environment….not so in Slovakia in my experience . It is not about money or big homes ( although owning a 4×4 or huge car, seems to be much more important for many Slovaks) but about personal attitude, as most Slovaks are total peasants, when it comes to Civic pride .

      Slovakia is a country full of people like you Lubo , making excuses …a Slovak never admits to doing some thing wrong, it always someone elses fault , never their fault and of course always full of richeous indignation, that the problem is ofcourse somewhere else , other than take that responsibility . …Always waiting for someone else to help them, do the job for them ..as there was in Socialist times, always waiting and expecting the government to wipe ass, rather than be pro active .

      I suspect their is ( or was) money available for the villages to improve, but in my experience the Mayor , could not be bothered just to apply, or took what Precept he had and just paid himself a huge salary and annual bonuses to the council members, plus finding paid jobs or contracts for his family . Theft is considered normal in this country ….most in positions of importance are looking to make money for themselves and their friends , not be a servant to help the people and make this a better place .

      OK Then Lobo , Name me one pretty ‘well kept’ village in Slovakia we can visit , other than some UNESCO site ?

      • Lubo Maslik

        George,
        you are trying to be an expert in Slovak things… That’s funny.
        What do you know about me? Nothing and same it is with Slovakia. So how can you write that “Slovakia is full of people like me”? Your answer ensures me that it is wasted time to commet your posts…
        Lubo

        • George M

          Lobo, perhaps you should read your own crass comments ?? As you , most Slovaks live in denial of there ever being a problem, just make daft excuses .. ho ho ho, it is the same in many other country , ho ho ho, you should look at your country , that country …etc ….Ie. NEVER TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for your own problem !

          Pardon me, but you’ve obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a damn if you answer my posts …….oh yea that’s right you just did, and twice !

  6. Alec hodges

    James.I also cringe when I see rubbish dumped in Slovak woodlands, but this is pretty much everywhere, even in some parts of Austria. Rajka. Well that’s different.
    Could be down to the 30 percent Slovak population living there.

  7. George M

    As always , you can get people out of the Slum , but can you get the Slum out of the people ….

    Example : take a drive to the first Hungarian village called RAJKA…not the prettiest of villages if you keep to the main road. An old hotel , nasty old rail yard , but drive through the village on the old main road, via nicely kept houses, shops and the Village Offices, all with trimmed trees and grass cut …in a simple, but nicely kept street manner .. PRIDE ! ..Please note Rajka is considered the arse-end of the world to most Hungarians !!!

  8. James Baxter

    The problem for me isn’t the upkeep of private houses or properties, it’s public areas. Slovakia is indeed rich in wildlife but I don’t think that’s thanks to a lot of people who inhabit the towns and village close to woodland, for eample. There’s woods near where I live which could be beautiful – and yes you do get wildlife there – but there’s a hell of a lot of rubbish (bottles, plastic wrappers etc), much of it left behind after what basically amount to communal drinking sessions. I don’t think you can deny that leaving behind mess like that – and other people not caring enough about it – equals a lack of pride in your surroundings. And clearing up behind you costs nothing at all.

  9. Alec hodges

    The demographics of Slovakia are entirely different to those found in Austria. It is not particularly helpful to lambast a nation based on personal prejudice and comparison without accepting this fact.
    Because it is more expensive to live in the Austrian countryside, one would expect nice gardens swimming pools and gazebos.With a larger disposable income beautification of homes is easier. The same is true in most parts of rural UK.
    The population of Slovak villages depend on extensive and frequent rural bus services, village shops, home grown produce and meat in the form of rabbits, chickens, ducks, pigs, geese and turkeys. Money is scarce and the priority’s different .
    Ecologically the Slovak model is far superior superior to the Austrian with a much richer diversification of wildlife. Yes,Potemkinese wouldn’t be impressed by many Slovak villages but if they bothered to delve deeper they might learn something far more valuable – harmonisation with nature. The tragedy of internet is that anyone can write any any old rubbish, and they usually do – even when they are intellectually bankrupt..

    • George M

      Dear Alec , I had thought you were brainless, but not stupid , how wrong I was ….

      ‘ With a larger disposable income beautification of homes is easier.’ ..well excuse me whilst I play my Grand Piano ! The fact is, Slovaks have the money ( how ever did they ever afford to build these huge houses in the first place ?? ) just they chose not to renovate-renew because they have NO PRIDE ….A lick of paint cost very little , sweeping up or collecting street rubbish , grass cutting by the village ????

      You are right Alec , the tragedy of internet is that anyone can write any any old excusing rubbish, and they usually do – normally when they are intellectually bankrupt and have nothing between their ears, but the brains of a rocking horse .

  10. Noel Flannery

    True to a degree, if the put as much into their homes as they do their cottages there would be a marked improvement.
    The Villages you speak of share many common styles if houses, therefore maybe Dulux or their Slovak equivalent could become a sponsor.
    As for having non National pride, I thought many were Nationalists. But its easy for us blow-in to comment on this, maybe some or our Slovak readers could shed some light on this?

  11. James Baxter

    I hope no long-term affliction is developing here but I agree, at least with the second paragraph. There are villages where there are beautiful private properties and nicely-kept gardens – and pristine churches – but the public areas are too often depressingly scruffy.

    It’s worse in housing-estates, where there isn’t even any intrinsic attractiveness in the architecture or surroundings to fall back on.

    Some kind of incentive (ie prizes) to improve matters is at least worth considering, along with the trees and paint.

  12. George M

    Almost every ‘village’ I have driven through in Slovakia is a dump and it wil take more than a few prizes to change the slum attitude from the Slovak mind ….

    Other than individual property most houses and streets could do with a good update, Dulux paint and a serious planned planting scheme for trees and grassed areas . Slovaks have no pride ….cross the border to Hungary or Austria for ‘ Pretty Village’ examples .

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