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Bled
Bled is bursting at the seams these days. Photo: BoBo

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“It’s not true that Slovenian guests aren’t welcome in Bled”

The resort town is bursting at the seams
10. August 2017 ob 21:22
Bled - MMC RTV SLO, Radio Slovenija

In recent days, much attention in Slovenia has focused on the acting president of Bled Tourism, who urged day trippers to avoid the resort until the end of the summer because of the unprecedented crowds in Bled. The media and social networks are still full of angry comments.

However, officials in Bled now say that the statement was misunderstood and that the resort town is not trying to keep any visitors away.

The telephone banks of the Bled Municipality are being flooded with calls and the atmosphere has heated up despite the cooler weather, but we had to call abroad to get responses from the relevant officials. Both the head of the tourist board and the mayor are currently in vacation. Matjaž Berčon, the acting president of Bled Tourism, says that his statement was misunderstood. “My comments were meant primarily as advice to avoid the crowds, which can be unbearable at this time; road traffic from the freeway to Bled in particular tends to be very heavy,” says Berčon, who nevertheless hopes that those wishing to visit Bled could do that either now or at any other time of the year.

Word of the “uprising” has spread from the Dalmatian coast all the way to the United Kingdom, where Bled Mayor Janez Fajfar is currently vacationing. “I’m very sad that the statement got such a reaction. Bled has always been the most recognizable place in Slovenia and we Slovenians are all very proud of it. But it’s true that it’s besieged by tourists from around the world. I’m sorry that his statement was misunderstood. The head of the tourist board gave advice on how to avoid the crowds, but he never said or implied that anyone is unwelcome in Bled.”

The last part of the statement is the most impotent message that Bled can send to the Slovenian public, adds Mayor Fajfar. Since tourism appears to have gotten out of hand in Bled this year, municipal officials will need to consider measures to direct the tourist flow more effectively and make such statements unnecessary. But truth be told, Bled is not the ideal destination these days for those with frayed nerves or high travel standards.

Romana Erjavec, Radio Slovenia; translated by J. B.