LOCAL tourism appears to be key for higher occupancy at accommodation facilities in the High Tatras. According to the regional destination management organisation in the High Tatras, OOCR Región Vysoké Tatry, this was proven in 2013 when as much as 63.4 percent of visitors in the Tatras were Slovaks. Traditionally, Czech tourists made up the biggest group of foreign visitors, followed by Poles and Ukrainians, the TASR newswire reported.

“Statistical data help us to get oriented and hold up to us the always needed mirror,” said Lenka Maťašovská, director of OOCR Región Vysoké Tatry, as cited by TASR, adding the numbers showing that Slovaks dominate confirm that local tourism is the pillar of tourism in the Tatras.

Ukrainians became the ‘jumpers’ of the year when they climbed from the sixth position to third. They were followed by visitors from Korea, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Austria, Lithuania and the United Kingdom.

In total, the number of visitors accommodated in the High Tatras in 2013 reached almost 518,000, with Slovak visitors accounting for the biggest part of the increase.

According to Maťašovská, the pre-crisis year of 2008 was the most successful year for the High Tatras region. At that time the ratio between Slovak and foreign visitors was much more balanced, with 58.5 percent from Slovakia and 41.5 percent from abroad. The region had already overcome the impacts of the economic crisis in 2011, and it achieved this largely through a massive increase in Slovak visitors, up to almost 62 percent of all accommodated visitors.