TWO THIRDS of the beds in Slovakia’s hotels remain empty, which puts Slovakia at the bottom of the EU hotel occupancy chart compiled by Eurostat.

Slovak hoteliers argue that there are way too many hotels in Slovakia, with many built in 2006-2012, financed partly from EU funds, the Sme daily wrote.

“Many were built in the Tatras or in Bratislava, where the demand for new hotels did not go up that much, but the price nevertheless increased,” Katarína Malová from the Kaskády hotel in Sliač told Sme.

General Secretary of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants Marek Harbuľák agrees, adding that the statistics have been skewed because the summer and winter seasons in Slovakia are strong, but for the rest of the year the hotels are empty. Hoteliers also blame bad promotion of Slovakia and weak state support.

“Other industries, for instance, get tax relief for creating jobs,” Harbuľák told Sme.

Another reason for the low numbers in Slovak hotels is that mainly small hotels tend not to report all their guests because they pay municipal taxes per guest per night.

In 2013 there were more than 1,500 hotels, motels and pensions in Slovakia, offering more than 90,000 beds to guests. These were included in the Eurostat statistics, unlike other accommodation options, like private apartments or campgrounds.