Melania Trump smiles at passersby on a highway in Sevnica, Solvenia that reads “Welcome to the Hometown of First Lady” — a billboard that represents more than a celebration of its most famous citizen.
The number of tourists in Slovenia rose by 8 percent year-on-year in March, with tourists booking overnight stays jumping a whopping 30.6 percent and tourists visiting by 22.5 percent, the government’s statistics office say.
Overnight stays in Slovenia by tourists from the United States jumped 30.6 percent while the number of domestic tourists rose by 22.5 percent, the statistics office said on Thursday.
Analysts said domestic tourist figures reflected improved economic conditions in Slovenia, a country which narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in 2013 but expects economic growth of 3.6 percent this year versus 2.5 percent in 2016.
The unemployment rate also has improved although no direct connection to the first lady is implicated from 12 percent in March 2016 to 10.2 percent in March 2017.
In April the central European nation of Slovenia celebrated a milestone, at a time when one of its own will be living in the White House after First Son Barron Trump finishes the school year in New York.
Slovenian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Bozo Cerar commemorated the 25th anniversary of U.S. recognition of the European nation by planting a Linden tree in the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
Slovenians are ‘very proud’ that Trump is first lady. She has helped the nation’s visibility considerably, he said, noting that Americans no longer mix his country up with Slovakia, a huge improvement.
Because of Melania,Americans are traveling to Slovenia like never before.
The First Lady was born Melanija Knavs, in the village of Novo Mesto, then part of Yugoslavia. She moved to New York in 1996.
In March 2017, Slovenia honored her by introducing "First Lady" wine, a red wine produced in the region near her hometown of Sevnica.