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Texas Feels Slovenia: Successful Presentation of Slovenian Economy and Tourism in Dallas

At the Texas Feels Slovenia business and investment conference, Slovenia presented itself to potential business partners from the USA as an excellent economic partner, a country of investment opportunities and a sustainable tourist destination with unique experiences for discerning guests. During the event, US and Slovenian companies and destinations met for bilateral (B2B) meetings to explore the possibilities of concluding concrete deals. In Dallas visits were dedicated to American companies and the evening highlight - the Slovenian green-tinted NBA basketball game I feel Slovenia night between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls.

Slovenian companies impress with their breakthrough solutions

The first day of the event on Thursday featured a high-profile business and investment conference. Among the more than 170 participants were representatives of many leading US companies in various fields, all of whom were impressed by Slovenia.

The event featured excellent speakers who presented the Slovenian and Dalla Lusatian business and investment environment, opportunities for cooperation and examples of successful business stories of Slovenian companies in Texas.

Dr Mitja Blaganje, Secretary General at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, in his welcoming address at the conference underlined the importance of the US market for Slovenia. "Texas, as the 2nd largest economy in the USA and the 10th largest in the world, is a place with great potential for cooperation with our highly export-oriented economy, as well as for the penetration of Texas companies into the Slovenian market. At the same time, it is an excellent place for the promotion of Slovenia as a tourist destination," said Mr. Blaganje, adding, "In addition, sport is certainly one of those things that evokes positive emotions and pride in all of us, that brings us together and connects us - even across the oceans. The Dallas Mavericks, with Luka at the helm, are proof of that. That is why Slovenia has decided to partner with the Dallas Mavericks basketball club, through which we want to touch the hearts of Americans and bring you closer to one of the greenest and most boutique countries in the heart of Europe - Slovenia."

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Rok Capl, Acting Director of SPIRIT Slovenia: "This year's business and investment conference in Dallas is a continuation and a follow-up of the successful business story we started last year. The atmosphere at the conference was truly amazing! We are delighted that so many American business people attended and recognised us as an important business destination, both in terms of creating new partnerships and investment opportunities. We are very pleased with their response and their positive surprise at the opportunities our country offers, as this is a great endorsement of the efforts and many activities we are carrying out in the US market, and we will continue in this spirit in the future."

Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks Basketball Club, and Vanja Černivec, CEO of the London Lions, both of whom swear that with hard work, passion and focus you can achieve anything in life, were particularly inspiring with their inspiring reflections. "Learn, focus, pray and work, my mother taught me, and I do it all every day of my life. But I decided that my mission would be to serve people," said Marshall, among other things.

Former Slovenian basketball ace Radoslav Nesterović, who presented Slovenia as a country of sports champions, agreed. Slovenians are a sporting nation, sport inspires and excites us, but above all it connects us and builds Slovenia's reputation in the world. "The successes of Slovenian athletes contribute enormously to the country's visibility, Slovenia has only two million inhabitants, but it has the best basketball player, hockey player, cyclist, climber, skier, which is truly remarkable. This is a potential that the country should make the most of to build its visibility," he said.

In a packed hall, the Americans got to know our country, its competitive advantages and business opportunities not only through great athletes, but also through a green, creative and smart economy and the breakthrough solutions of Slovenian companies. Two round tables featured Slovenian companies, each of which is one of the so-called hidden champions in its field: GenePlanet, BioSistemika, Cleangrad, Aerosol and Ineor. The Slovenian business environment and business and investment opportunities were presented by Vid Habjan, Head of the Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Sector at SPIRIT Slovenia.

Business talks and networking between Slovenian and American companies rounded off the conference and laid the foundations for new success stories in the future. "Luka Dončić has shown us what a great country Slovenia is to live, work and play sport in, he is a great ambassador for both your country and ours, in fact he has brought us together. We already have a lot of Slovenians in Dallas and we hope to have more soon!"

Dejan Spasovski, founder of Ineor: "Ineor is an international software development company that provides global, comprehensive and advanced software development services and breakthrough key innovative digital solutions for multinational companies, usually leaders in their field of activity. At this year's conference, we showcased solutions for a green future that will help build long-term transatlantic relationships for a better future for all."

Dejan Spasovski, founder of Ineor: "Ineor is an international software development company that provides global, comprehensive and advanced software development services and breakthrough key innovative digital solutions to multinational companies, typically leaders in their field of activity. At this year's conference, we showcased solutions for a green future that will help build long-term transatlantic relationships for a better future for all."

Luka Zupančič, DATANA Business Development Manager, BioSistemika: "In Dallas, we are particularly keen to expand our business network and showcase BioSistemika through our innovative DATANA project. This is a high-tech development project where we are developing technology to store data in the form of DNA molecules. America is an extremely technologically advanced market, which is even more challenged by the problem of accumulating and storing electronic data, and we believe that our solutions can attract a lot of interest and potential partnerships. We are also getting more and more enquiries from the US market for our products and software development services for laboratories, so presenting to US companies and investors makes a lot of sense for us and gives us additional insights on how to approach this market."

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Tourism companies in the US see increased interest in Slovenia

A very successful Slovenian tourism workshop followed in the afternoon. "Slovenia is a country with a green and sporty heart and a country of champions," Karmen Novarlič, Head of the Business Public Relations Department at the Slovenian Tourist Board, emphasised to representatives of the Slovenian and American tourism industry. Ljubljana Tourism presented the Slovenian capital as an attractive destination to visit in all seasons, while Turkish Airlines, one of the airlines connecting Europe via Istanbul with a direct flight to Dallas, also presented itself to its American partners.

In addition to the above, 13 Slovenian tourism companies and destinations presented their offer in Dallas, meeting representatives of more than 30 US tour operators and travel agencies in bilateral meetings. More than 200 bilateral meetings were held. Slovenian tourism is already seeing concrete results from the tourism workshop held in Dallas last year; some US tour operators have already included Slovenia in their programmes or have participated in the SIW Slovenian Tourism Exchange. The US is one of the most important overseas markets for Slovenian tourism with excellent growth potential.

"The US market is extremely important for Sava Hotels & Resorts, so after a successful participation in last year's event in Dallas, we decided to participate in this year's event as well. Dallas proved to be an excellent starting point for promoting Slovenia in the USA, because with the visibility of Luka Dončić and consequently Slovenia, we can more easily approach agents and place Slovenia in their offer. This year, we are also seeing an increased interest in travel to Slovenia and the willingness of American agencies to create programmes that include many Slovenian destinations, which is why we support and encourage such events in the future," said Andrea Jemc Vidic, Head of Overseas Sales at Sava Hotels & Resorts.

"We already took part in the Slovenian Tourism Workshop last year. We are looking forward to getting to know your country and its wonderful people. What stands out is the focus on sustainability, on safety, the incredible diversity of your country, all in a wonderful small, intimate package. Our high-end clients want a variety of experiences and Slovenia offers that - activities, wellness, wine, cuisine. Slovenia is a hidden gem and I encourage our advisors to get to know it and do business now, before it becomes one of the world's top 10 destinations and becomes more popular and more difficult to access partners as interest grows," said Faith Kuczai, Director of Corporate Relations, North America, Nexion Travel Group.

Fans felt Slovenia at Dallas Mavericks vs. Chicago Bulls game

Following the successful business activities, partners and companies in Dallas continued their business and promotional activities. The delegation visited leading companies in the fields of information and communication technologies, digitalisation, advanced marketing solutions and services, branding, security and energy efficiency, and learned about the latest trends in these areas.

The highlight of the promotion was NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls, entitled 'I Feel Slovenia Night'. The game was used by the WTO, together with UKOM and Tourism Ljubljana, to promote Slovenia widely with on-court and courtside advertising. The arena was coloured green, two promotional videos of Slovenia were screened during the game, and fans in the arena were also able to learn about Slovenia through a quiz and at the promotional and exhibition area in the American Airlines Center. The game was entertained by the world-famous Slovenian acrobats Dunking Devils, who were joined on the floor by Ljubljana's mascot, the Dragon. Fans also received green "I feel Slovenia" scarves with the Dallas Mavericks logo.

The I feel Slovenia night is part of a broader two-year partnership between the STO and the Dallas Mavericks, under which the STO promoted the I feel Slovenia national brand at 60 Dallas Mavericks home games in the NBA in 2023 and 2024, as well as a digital campaign to promote Slovenia through the club's communication channels.
During the Dallas event, UKOM, in cooperation with the Basketball Federation of Slovenia and the municipalities of Celje and Novo mesto, also organised two I Feel Slovenia night sporting events for local primary schools on 6 April, which also resonated on the Dallas Mavericks' social media channels. The youth basketball games took place at the Dallas Mavericks basketball courts in Celje and Goran Dragic's in Novo mesto.


The performance of the acrobatic group Dunking Devils was also broadcast on 5NBC. More>>

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Author: Jernej Kovač

Date: 7. April 2023

Time to read: 5 min