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Slovenia begins tinkering with solutions for winter tourist season

With summer in the rearview mirror, eyes now turn to how to safeguard other businesses in the tourism sector

  • September 02, 2020 09:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium skiing 4835024 1280

The 2020 summer tourist season is coming to an end and with it so is the focus of many governments on protecting its related businesses that suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic. With the onset of the colder seasons, however, new challenges emerge – namely, how to make sure that winter tourism businesses remain afloat throughout a season that might end up being far more dangerous compared to previous months.

Slovenia’s winter businesses battle for survival

If we take a short trip down memory lane, we will remember that the first restrictions and the declaration of a global pandemic took place in early March – while the winter tourist season was still going strong in many European countries, including Slovenia. Ski slopes and hotels were forced to shut down, thus ending the tourist season prematurely imposing a hefty cost on many businesses.

Now, with winter just a few months away, fears have begun emerging of new and tighter regulations that would make it hard for businesses to turn a profit while operating at artificially and organically reduced capacities. Restrictive measures are already being put into practice at Kanin, the highest-altitude ski resort in Slovenia, which reopened for a few days earlier in May. There, employees are disinfecting lifts regularly and are imposing social distancing rules, allowing only 1 person per lift unless they share it with members of their own family. Yet such solutions might not work once the weather takes a bad turn and skiers head indoors to take shelter.

One of the ideas currently being floated is limiting the number of guests at each slope, thus creating ample conditions for maintaining social distancing. Yet that would have dire consequences for businesses. In response, one of the suggestions proposed by business-owners is the extension of Slovenia’s government-issued tourism vouchers into the winter, which would make it more enticing for people to travel and to make use of different offers in the country’s mountains. By adopting such a suggestion, the government would give winter tourism businesses the chance to stay afloat despite the difficult and unprecedented circumstances that they find themselves in.

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