The prolonged so-called “Golden Week” – the peak period from Christmas to approximately January 13 – was satisfactory this time in the High Tatras, local tourist boards and travel agencies agree. Preliminary estimates show a 5-percent increase against last year. Most visitors - up to 55 percent - were locals, followed by tourists from Russia and Ukraine.
“This was a nice surprise, and we are happy that Slovaks keep returning to support domestic tourism,” head of the Regional Tourist Board of the High Tatras Lenka Maťašovská told the SITA newswire. She mentioned another surprise – most of the tourists coming from the east arrived by car. This improved their mobility and enabled them to see more sites, other than ski resorts, in the vicinity.
Out of the 14 charter flights that arrived at the Poprad airport during the peak season, only one third planned to go to the Slovak part of the High Tatras. Many eyed the Low Tatras, and some went to the Polish part of the Tatras. “It is the middle class that comes to Slovakia,” Maťašovská stated, adding that the richest head for ski resorts in the Alps. According to her, tourists from Russia and Ukraine spend their money, apart from skiing, on gastronomy, sporting equipment, wellness, beauty treatments and massages.
Maťašovská told the TASR newswire that the tourist organisation does not expect any massive drop in tourism or revenue, as the Polish holiday season began on January 14, lasting for 6 weeks, and then Slovak school holidays will follow, with Czech holidays coming afterwards. By the end of March and the beginning of April, Easter will also bring skiers to the Slovak mountains. “We expect the ski season to run smoothly and fluently,” Maťašovská summed up. The number of Tatry Card purchases, a discount card offering rebates and discounts on ski-passes, ski rentals, ski services and some selected gastronomy facilities in High Tatras, increased by 35 percent in December 2012 against the previous year.
21. Jan 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská