January 31, 2018 / 11:47 AM / in 7 months

Melania factor helps to boost Slovenian tourism

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Slovenia jumped almost 17 percent last year to 3.4 million, the statistics office said on Wednesday, the figure boosted by the fact that U.S. First Lady Melania Trump was born in the country

First lady Melania Trump attends U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Slovenia has also been successfully promoting itself as a safe and green destination at the heart of Europe — offering access to the Adriatic and mountain locations.

The country had its fourth successive year of record tourism numbers in 2017.

Melania Trump was born in the town of Sevnica in southeastern Slovenia before becoming a fashion model and moving to the United States.

Most foreign tourists came from Italy, Germany and Austria with the number of German tourists up by 26 percent year-on-year.

The number of tourists from the United States jumped by 24 percent in November, the latest data available.

Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Keith Weir

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