|Jasna Potocnik Topler||2021|
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to point out the significance of the Melania Trump factor and the so called Melania Trump tourism in branding of the Slovene rural town of Sevnica, and in increasing the quality of life of the locals in this small town. The story of the Melania Trump tourism in Sevnica began in 2016, when the Municipality of Sevnica experienced large mass media attention due to the fact that Donald Trump emerged successfully in the American Presidential Campaign. The reason that events in the United States affected a micro Municipality of Sevnica on the banks of the Sava River is the fact that the First Lady of the United States Melania Trump originates from Sevnica. Thus, a small town of less than 5000 inhabitants suddenly appeared in the majority of the world’s most important media, such as ABC, CNN, Washington Post, NBC, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung etc, which had been a big stress for the community at the beginning, but turned out to be a significant potential for the economic development, especially for the local small businesses and local tourism sector. Based on the content analysis and literature review, the article explores the media representation of Sevnica and some of its influences on the community. The research also indicates the relation between the media exposure and the emergence and development of small businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, a hostel and a hotel, and consequently the strategically planned development of tourism.