Slovakia is about the size of West Virginia and lies in the heart of Europe, bordered by Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. It’s blanketed by an undulating sweep of mint-green mountains in the center and crowned by a range of snow-covered peaks in the North. Thus is Northern Slovakia more suited for mountain activities and winter hiking while southern Slovakia offers waterside holidays and the opportunity to take advantage of thermal waters.
Slovak tourism is represented in almost all key forms and types. This sector has become one of the fastest developing and most promising sectors of the national economy. Despite the numerous tourist attractions, e.g., 4000 caves (14 caves are open to public), 9 national parks, 14 protected land areas and 12 000 km of hiking trails, 425 manor houses, 180 castles/castle ruins, UNESCO World Heritage places, 350 ski resorts, booming aqua-parks and golf courses, Slovakia still has a lot more to offer. Golfing, skiing, mountaineering, fishing, hunting and Eco tourism/ranches all show great potential for tourism development projects that would enhance Slovakia’s favorable climate, cultural heritage and historical wealth.
Slovakia’s tourism industry has grown remarkably since the country became independent in 1993. Statistics show that both the number of tourists and the number of overnight stays had been increasing steadily over the past fifteen years until the global financial crises hit the world in 2008.