June 21, 2017 / 4:12 PM / in a month

Melania's birth country Slovenia hopes to boost tourism revenues

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U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive for a group picture at the Royal Castle of Laeken in Brussels, May 25, 2017.Hannah Mckay

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia, the country where U.S. First Lady Melania Trump was born, hopes to strongly increase tourism revenues in the coming years, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the draft of the government's tourism strategy, revenues from foreign tourists should rise to at least 3.7 billion euros ($4.12 billion) by 2021 from some 2.4 billion euros last year, pushed up by investment in the sector.

"The vision of Slovenian tourism is that Slovenia is an active, green and healthy destination," the government said in a statement.

Slovenia is an Alpine state with a number of spa and seaside resorts. More than half of the country is covered by forest.

Last year the number of foreign tourists in Slovenia rose by 12 percent to 3 million, as tourists turned to European countries due to terrorist fears elsewhere. The U.S. First Lady's fame also raised Slovenia's profile.

The number of foreign tourists soared by 43 percent year-on-year in April, the latest data available, with the number of American visitors up by 31 percent over the same period.

Reporting By Marja Novak, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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