Monday, 13 September 2010

Time for a roadtrip again!


I intended to post this a few weeks ago, but somehow managed not to do it. Well... here it is with a tiny little bit of delay.


Our jobs, limited yearly leave, lack of financial resources and other types of restraints are successfully keeping us from travelling as much as we would like to. At least that is true for those who had been bitten by the travel bug and I certainly fall into that category. Those of you following my blog have already noticed a lack of travel related posts lately.
Fortunately after a long wait, the time for my main yearly vacation has arrived. At the moment preparations are in full swing. The destination has been decided, some reservations made, ferry tickets purchased, car serviced and health insurance arranged. Only my bags are still waiting for someone to pack them.


There are at least three destinations M and I had hard time choosing from: Portugal, Greece and Sardinia. The idea was to drive there and do some camping in almost three full weeks.


After careful consideration, Portugal seemed a bit far away. It would take us quite a few days to get there and also petrol isn't all that cheap these days. We decided it will just have to be stuck on our waiting list for a few more years.


Greece on the other hand seemed a better option but since they recently had some problems (for instance a shortage of petrol due to some strikes) we weren't sure if it was such a good idea to go there this year. After we gave it some thought we figured that if it was there for a few thousand years, Greece probably isn't going anywhere for another couple of years.


Our last but definitely not the least attractive option was Sardinia. Since we have been to most of other islands around Italy it was an obvious choice - in the past years we have already visited Sicily, Elba, Malta and Corsica. However different they might be, we liked them all. In addition to that Sardinia is also the closest destination of the three on our short-list.


I'll try to publish some useful information for those of you intending to do a similar trip and of course spice it all up with some beautiful photos. I hope you are looking forward to this at least a bit... I know I am!

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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Football and Web Traffic go together well


As I predicted in my previous post the last football match Slovenia played in South Africa had a similar effect on web traffic as the previous two. Almost every web page and blog publishing Slovenia related content experienced a substantial increase of traffic in recent days.


On the graph screenshot from Google Trends you can see three peaks representing number of Google searches people did last month.
The first peak is on the day of the match between Slovenia and Algeria, the second Slovenia vs. USA and the third Slovenia vs. England.


Unfortunately Slovenian national team didn't make it to the next round and this meant the end of increased web exposure for Slovenia. I am pretty sure the upcoming 2010 FIBA Basketball World Championship in Turkey will hardly have a similar effect.


A couple of days ago the World Cup came to an end and it is a vuvuzela free time again. Congratulations Spain!

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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The influence of Soccer WC 2010 on Slovenia


If a relatively young country has an ambition of becoming a popular tourist destination, it usually has to work hard to achieve such a goal. It is important to try to promote the country through as many different channels as possible.

Slovenia definitely falls into that category (Slovenia has been an independent country since its separation from Yugoslavia in 1991). Slovenian Tourist Board is trying hard to raise the level of worldwide awareness but that is not enough.
In my opinion, sports can also help at least a little bit. In some cases much more then just a little bit.
Recent qualification of Slovenian national soccer team for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa is an excellent example of just that. Many people started wondering where this soccer team, competing with English and US teams is coming from. Slovenia? Where the heck is Slovenia?
You might think I am exaggerating. How can a couple of soccer matches be compared to years of work of a bunch of politicians, diplomats and tourist promoters?


Well it actually can be... and I've got proof of that. It is called Google trends.


For those of you who haven't heard of this before, "with Google Trends you can compare the world’s interest in your favourite topics", as Google puts it. In other words, with this tool you can compare what people were searching for through Google.
For instance if you enter "where is slovenia, slovenia map" you get the below graph.


You can notice a strange change of pattern at the far right-hand side of the graph. If you take a closer look at that period of time - for instance the last month of data, you can see something similar to the screen-shot bellow.


I guess some of you already know where this is heading... Those two peaks in the graph mean that on the 13th and 18th of June 2010 there were an unusually high number of people entering those two queries into Google search engine.
If you take a look at the last screenshot you can see the final hint. It says: "Slovenia, US draw 2-2". In this case I have added "slovenia" to previous two search strings and got an even more explicit result.


Yes, it was football (or soccer as Americans tend to call it). Slovenia was playing with Algeria on 13th of June and USA on 18th of June. Interesting isn't it?


Let me end this with a prediction. Since today (23th of June) the Slovenian national team is playing with the English, I expect a similar rise to be seen on the graph. I don't dare to even speculate what would happen if we make it to the Round of 16 or even to the Quarter-finals. Let us just wait and see.


GO SLOVENIA!!!

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