STA, 9 September 2020 - The operator of the Postojna Cave has been forced to lay off a number of employees as it grapples with a 83% drop in visit due to the coronavirus crisis. The management will announce the exact number of redundancies to employees by Friday, while Primorske Novice reports that up to 60 out of the 174 employees are to be sacked.
Postojnska Jama told the STA on Wednesday that it would need to "dismiss a larger number of workers" as a last-resort measure for the sake of long-term sustainability of operation.
The number to be laid off will first be announced to employees at meetings on Thursday and Friday, added the operator of the cave which has been virtually empty since the spring, as foreign guests, which represent the bulk of the visit, are few and far between.
The Koper-based newspaper meanwhile reported that the company will lay off up to 60 out of the 174 employees. Postojnska Jama has not confirmed the number, while labelling the consequences of the pandemic a "natural disaster".
The Postojna Cave is a global destination and foreign guests represent 93% of total visit. "It is evident that the loss in enormous", the company said, adding that there were also fewer Slovenian guests, with their number dropping by 20%.
Visit to the cave is not covered by the government's tourism voucher scheme and the site was closed for 83 days during the lockdown, which is only the second time it was closed in its 200-plus-year history.
Postojnska Jama said layoffs were inevitable as the future was uncertain, as no major improvement was expected next year.