Slovenia's ski tourism suffers due to lack of snow and high electricity prices
Aljosa Milenkovic

Slovenia is one of the European countries where tourism has suffered due to an unusually mild winter. 

A lack of snow and a dramatic increase in the price of electricity forced some ski resorts to increase their prices and reduce profit margins. 

Since the start of 2023, there has been no snow in almost all Alpine parts of Slovenia, which is unusual for this time of year. 


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Some ski resorts were keen to use snow-making machinery, but the warm weather did not work in their favor.

"When the temperatures are high, our snowmaking machines don't work. The temperature has to be at least zero degrees Celsius for those to operate," Irena Gold Sihtna from Ski Lifts Kranjska Gora told CGTN.

It was sunny and 5-10 degrees Celsius in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia's most important ski resort, when they attempted to use it. The resort was still relying on snow from a few weeks ago. 

Meanwhile, all appeared to be normal with the ski season in some parts of the resort, but this does not represent the true scale of the problem.


Everything runs on electricity

The rapidly rising costs of electrical energy also deeply worry the entrepreneurs here. Everything in their industry runs on electricity - from the snow cannons to the ski lifts.

"The seven-fold increase in the price of electricity is something that is not possible to transfer to the price of the ski pass," explained Manuela Bozic Badalic, the Head of the Association of Ski Lift Operators in Slovenia, during a ride on a ski gondola in the Kanin ski resort.

"At this moment, it costs €39, and with that change, it would be €70 for a daily ski pass."

Due to the warm weather, most of these cable cars were empty and there were no queues for the ski lifts.

The Slovenian government has imposed a price cap on electricity prices but that will last only until June. 

The hoteliers have had to make some changes to help their businesses survive.

"We made our organization a bit thinner. We also improved the efficiency of our processes, and due to its internal reserves, we are able to not increase the prices so much as a consequence of higher energy prices," Milan Sajovic, General Manager of Hit Alpinea Hotels in Kranjska Gora told CGTN.

Yet, despite their efforts, the lack of snow and higher prices have forced many tourists to give this year's ski season a miss, putting many businesses at risk.

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