IN SPITE of the prime tourism season, hotels across Slovakia are rather empty, the Pravda daily wrote in late July. Many hotels are fighting to survive by cutting of prices, but it is likely that some of them will close, nonetheless. After the last year’s drop in sales caused by the world financial crisis they are experiencing an even worse year. The hotels report a drop in sales by 20 to 40 percent compared with 2009.
“Roughly for one-year-and-half there is a surplus of hotels in Slovakia, especially luxury hotels,” Michaela Grančičová, the president of the Bratislava Hotels Association and the Apollo Hotel director told the daily.
Even the summer season, which is traditionally weaker in the capital that during the rest of the year, will not "save the day". High competition and small interest in services are pushing accommodation prices down. Compared with the pre-summer prices the current prices are lower by one third, the daily wrote. Neighbouring countries report a similar situation.
Accommodation prices have been decreasing in the long term starting in the Bratislava Region at the end of 2008. However, Grančičová considers price-cutting to be only one way how to endure a difficult period. She considers keeping quality of offered services in a long term to be much more important. According to her, indebted hotels or new hotels, which have not won a regular clientele are the most endangered hotels.
A number of hotels in Bratislava confirmed for the daily that this has been the worst season since their launch. Grančičová, who is also the director of Apollo Hotel, admitted that the situation is serious, but she considers the position of Apollo Hotel as stable.
The general decline in tourism forces hoteliers to reduce their staffs. Apart from this they also limit operation of their restaurants or other services on offer. The weekend occupancy of business hotels, which are the most typical for Bratislava, remains a problem. Various weekend packages linked with special services should help, Pravda wrote.
9. Aug 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff