Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Tue August 16 2016

Melania Trump Putting Slovenia on the Map

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | August 16, 2016

Melania Trump Putting Slovenia on the Map

PHOTO: Lake Bled, Slovenia (photo courtesy of Thinkstock).

As Donald Trump continues his polarizing bid for the White House, his wife and potential first lady Melania Trump has garnered more and more of the spotlight. 

While a majority of the headlines surrounding Melania have been negative, there's no denying that the former model has brought her native Slovenia — arguably one of the world's most underrated destinations — to the forefront.

"Whatever you think of Melania, she put Slovenia on the map of the world," Ljubljana resident Janez Bosnjak told

Despite being overshadowed by more established European destinations like the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and others, Slovenia is on the rise.

READ MORE: The 10 Hottest Under-The-Radar Destinations

Citing World Bank, reported the country welcomed more than 2.4 million visitors in 2014. Incredibly, that figure is more than triple that of the number who traveled to Slovenia as recently as 1995.

While renowned for its variety of natural attractions, Slovenia's capital city of Ljubljana has transformed into a gem of a tourist destination over the years, earning European Green Capital honors for 2016. The capital, located in central Slovenia, boasts a plethora of restaurants, cafes and nightlife.

Visitors will be equally drawn to Slovenia's natural beauty, which is comprised of mountains, forests and a piece of coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Together, the landscape makes the picturesque country a hiker's and skier's paradise. 

Although Melania can't take credit for Slovenia's emergence as a premier European tourist destination, her presence in the ongoing election season is largely responsible for shining some well-deserved light on this rising hotspot.

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