News - Portorož - Piran


Intelligent chatbot that helps you with discovering everything about your tourist destination

The first chatbot in a tourist destination in Slovenia

Under the patronage of the Tourist Board Portorož and in cooperation with the digital agency April 8, this year marked the birth of Pino, an intelligent chatbot for the tourist destination Portorož & Piran. “We are proud to be the first tourist agency in Slovenia to use such advanced technologies as an intelligent chatbot. Our aim is to offer information to our users 24/7, thus even during hours when our tourist information offices are closed, and at the same time, we wish to increase the number of conversions at our website as well as offer more information regarding events at our destination,” said mag. Igor Novel, the director of the Tourist Board Portorož.

Pino “resides” at his own Facebook profile and can chat with you via Facebook Messenger. In the future, Pino will also find a home at website, while they also want to use it at fairs and tourist information offices. For now, Pino communicates only in English, with plans for Slovene, Italian and German languages to be added as well. Users can ask Pino about accommodation, activities at the destination, general information regarding events, weather and guided tours. Pino will for example show you the most favourite hidden spots around Piran, where to drink the best coffee in Portorož, how to find the nearest parking space, and advise you what to do here if you have children with you.

Mag. Petra Rebec, digital projects manager at the Tourist Board Portorož: “This is a challenging project which utilizes state-of-the-art Watson Assistant cognitive solution technology from IBM, and integrates it for use in the field of tourism. The greatest challenge of using artificial intelligence in Pino lies in the way of preparing content, from which the intelligent robot can also learn on its own. We also put a lot of effort into Pino’s personality. Pino is a local, a pure Istrian. Slovenian Istria has been the home of many generations of Pino’s ancestors, and Pino’s relatives are also living here – in the nearby villages and sea-side towns. And all of the above was the reason for Pino to find a home and family here. And now, Pino is helping you to discover the local secrets of Portorož and Piran as well as the broader surroundings.“ The new chatbot is currently being promoted by a prize contest. In a month since the campaign started, Pino reached 45,000 local people and visitors to the tourist destination Portorož & Piran. 300 people have talked to Pino and together they have received 1,740 pieces of information. Most of the questions were regarding the events at the destination.

Digital campaign for promoting five-star experiences

This year, Tourist Board Portorož has invited providers of various pristine local experiences, and enabled them to be carried out on a regular basis regardless of the numbers of participants. Furthermore, there is an important new function this year, as it is possible to book experiences through the booking system at the website.

Because it was determined that visitors lack the proper awareness regarding the broad spectrum of experiences offered by Portorož and Piran with their surroundings, Tourist Association Portorož decided to put experiences to the forefront of their spring digital campaign. The primary focus of the spring campaign was the Italian market. Three Italian influencers were invited to cooperate in presenting the five-star experiences, and each experienced them in their own way, and also presented them as such to the followers on their social media channels. At the same time, Tourist Association Portorož was broadcasting their material and was thus promoting them in turn. The campaign had its own subpage featuring three chosen experiences, and included Instagram newsfeeds of the influencers as well as links to their profiles and their comments regarding the experiences, while also featuring the hotel packages. The subpage further included a , created as a collage of impressions and experiences of the participating influencers.

The project was a success. Until the end of August, the video reached 374,000 views on YouTube. From April until June, the influencers together created 259 pieces of content on social networks, reaching 475,000 people, while on Instagram alone, they received 2.6 million impressions. The created pieces of content also had a high level of interactions – 185,000 were recorded. On the Internet, the campaign was supported by diversified advertising via banners, video advertisements and social media communication. In Italy, the ads reached more than a million Internet users, while the video ad was shown two million times altogether.

The campaign got positive reactions at the destinations as well as on social networks. Expressed interest for five-star experiences rose, and at the same time, the interest of providers for cooperation with their own experiences also increased. The campaign was co-funded by the Tourist Association Portorož, which also used funds from the European Regional Development Fund (within the framework of a tender, put forth by the Slovene Ministry of Economic Development and Technology), and by three major hotel companies – Istrabenz Turizem (Istrabenz Tourism), Hoteli Bernardin (Bernardin Hotels) in Terme Krka (Krka Spas).

New record in the number of visits to the Portorož tourist website

According to Google Analytics, August saw 130,000 visits to the Tourist Association Portorož, of which 90,000 were unique visits, setting a new record. In comparison to last year, this is an 88% increase, but the comparison should not be taken as too relevant, as last summer saw the renovation of the website. In comparison to August 2017, when there was an intensive digital advertising campaign under way, there was a 16% increase in visits. This year’s increase in visits was assisted by publishing new content, particularly numerous experiences, as well as by publishing the offer and events of the entire Slovenian part of Istria. It was further noticed that 75% of all users accessed the website through their mobile devices. In the eight months of this year, the website recorded 587,000 visits, 17% increase from last year, and 394,000 unique visitors, 18% increase from last year. More than half of the visitors are foreign guests, mostly Italian, Austrian and German citizens.

Good summer season

There were almost 142,000 overnight stays in hotels in Piran this June (6% increase from June last year), more than 175,000 in July (the same as July last year), and 187,500 in August (the same as August last year). Thus, form June until the end of August, tourists made for more than half million overnight stays in hotels altogether. The majority of them were foreign tourists. In June, these accounted for 75% of all the overnight stays in hotels, while in July and August this number rose to 80%. In August on average, the hotels had 100% of their capacities booked. A bit more domestic guests were observed. In August, they accounted for approximately 10% more of overnight stays in hotels. Among foreign guests, there are still the most guests from Austria, Italy and Germany, while the number of guests from Russia, previously in 4thplace, has already been surpassed by guests from Hungary.

In the eight months of this year, more than 902,000 overnight stays in hotels were recorded, an increase of 3% compared to last year. Domestic tourists accounted for a bit more than one quarter of all overnight stays in hotels, while compared to last year, an increase of 9% was recorded for domestic overnight stays. Based on the collected tourist fees, the data for total accommodation capacities for the municipality of Piran can be determined. In the seven months of this year, approximately 1,040,000 overnight stays were recorded, a number equal to last year.


Photo: Visits from influencers: Alessandro Marras at the salt pans.

Photo: Visits from influencers: Giorgio in Martina (In viaggio col tubo) at the Lisjak vintage culinary experience.

Photo: Visits from influencers: Nunzia Cillo in Piran.

Photo: The promotional activities for the chatbot, including a prize contest, also take place at the tourist information offices of Portorož and Piran.

Photo: Intelligent chatbot Pino.