STA, 12 August 2020 - Ljubljana, whose tourism has been booming before the corona crisis, saw a 76% drop in nights spent in accommodation facilities in July compared to the same month last year. Hotels were only about 30% booked for last month, and in August this rose to 40%.
The data for 22 hotels and two hostels in the capital, of which four hotels were still closed in July and one of them opened partly in August, depending on demand, shows that in July, 28,150 nights were recorded, a significant drop from 117,000 in the same period last year, when they were all open.
Between 1 and 9 August, tourists spent 12,700 nights at the hotels and hostels, while almost 38,200 nights were generated in the same period last year.
"We mostly have foreign guests but we are happy that the number of Slovenian guests has risen significantly this year," Turizem Ljubljana told the STA, noting that 40% more Slovenian guests were recorded in July than in the same month last year, and that in the first nine days of August their number doubled.
Slovenians generated about 14% of all nights in both July and August.
The 18 or 19 hotels and two hostels that were open in August were 40% booked this month.
Turizem Ljubljana hopes that if the coronavirus situation remains unchanged or improves, the figures will rise further. A major promotion campaign is planned for the capital in Slovenia in September.
"We cannot be happy with the summer season," assistant director of Hotel Slon in the centre of Ljubljana Željko Vrhovac told the STA, noting that the occupancy rate was about 30%, which is 60 percentage points lower than in the same period in the past years.
"We've expected a faster recovery but the situation with the second wave of Covid-19 changed all that."
The share of Slovenian guests at the hotel reached about 10% in July and August, while before Covid-19, their share was less than 1%. "We attribute the rise to tourist vouchers and special packages we have prepared, and also restrictions to travelling abroad," he said.
Foreign guests mostly come from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. But these are individuals spending their holidays here, while other segments of guests such as business guests, conferences, seminars and groups have not picked up yet.
Vrhovac does not expect the situation to improve significantly until a vaccine is found.
Another Ljubljana hotel, which is slightly further away from the centre, the M Hotel, is posting an occupancy rate of 20%, which compares to 96% in the same period last year.
"Perhaps we expected a bit more Italian guests, who are quite regular visitors to Slovenia, and consequently a bit more bookings in August, but very few have come and there are no new reservations," said Gregor Erbežnik, head of sales at M Hotel.
Most of their guests are in transit, stopping on their way to Croatia. They also have some business guests. "We have virtually no Slovenian guests, despite the vouchers, which was expected, as people choose coastal and mountain destinations over Ljubljana."