Tourist vouchers are saving tourism; some service providers are recording even better results than last year

Foto: Vila Koman

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed un into times we could not even have imagined. Among other things, practically overnight, tourism was also stopped. After the already stunted winter season, tourist destinations were left without guests for another three months. The government was aware of the pitfalls posed by the restrictive measures. So it rushed to action and funded the staff. However, this was not enough, so they decided to help revive tourism with the help of tourist vouchers. We asked the service providers and some individuals for their opinion on the measure. Judging by their responses, the measure has had a positive impact on the tourism industry, and the citizens are also very satisfied with the implementation of vouchers.

Valerija Hrastelj, manager of the Na Škaluc estate, says that the tourist vouchers are a very good measure. She says that as soon as the vouchers were announced, a large number of reservations were made. They also recorded a great season, and the measure achieved its purpose. “You know, the guests book bed and breakfast, but this year, we are recording a much higher demand for food and something to drink in the evening,” and thus, she emphasizes, the guests are willing to pay a few euros more than usual.

“With solidarity, we also want to accelerate tourism in the area, so I always tell the guests what else is there to visit in the area,” Hrastelj says. She recommends that the guests visit Celjska koča, which is located nearby, if they want to hike or have an adrenaline adventure. “There is also a farm with a lead mine nearby, which has become a real attraction,” she says, stressing that solidarity we show toward each other, is very important at the moment, as everyone can benefit from it, and so can tourism.

The vouchers brought Slovenia closer to Slovenians
“The tourist vouchers have had a very positive impact on our business, we are recording even better results than in June last year,” says Alen Koman, owner of the Koman villa in Jezersko. He says that there are very few foreign guests at the villa because of the situation. And the tourist vouchers brought another positive thing with them; namely, Slovenians got a nice opportunity to get to know some corners of Slovenia, which they did not know before. “This gave us a chance to show Slovenians that Slovenia is not only Piran or Portorož and that a vacation in the mountains can be even more beautiful than a vacation at the seaside,” adds Koman.

Many of the visitors have never experienced hotel services before
We also asked the guests for their opinion. “You know, I never went on vacation to a hotel before, this was my first time,” Drago says. He went on holiday to Kranjska Gora, where he stayed in the Miklič hotel, and was so satisfied with the service that he plans to return in the following years, even though there will be no tourist vouchers then. “I did not even know staying in a hotel can be such a nice experience,” he adds.
Domen also says that he is very satisfied with the measure. He visited Ljutomer and Bela Krajina. He says that the process of using the vouchers was simple: “When booking, I stated that I wanted to pay for my stay with the tourist voucher, and on arrival, I had to fill out an additional form and show a personal identity document. I just had to pay the tourist tax.” He adds that the vouchers are a good measure, because without them, he might have considered a different option for a vacation, such as staying with his relatives.

 The service providers say that the government’s response was good. “And you know what I liked best? The money was transferred five days after the announcement,” one of the providers said, emphasizing the importance of the funds being transferred on time, as it is necessary to pay the costs, which was more difficult at the time of the coronavirus. The manager of Na Škaluc adds: “For the first three months of the season, due to the situation, we were closed. That is why we had no funds for investments and procurement, so we had to figure out on our own how to successfully start up the business again.”

Sara Kovač