Tourism season in Savinja Valley tanked by floods

Nazarje, 9 August - Tourism infrastructure along the Savinja river has been nearly completely destroyed by the floods that hit Slovenia over the weekend and the devastation is expected to result in a 50% drop in overnight stays of tourists this year, the Savinja and Šalek Region Development Agency told the STA on Wednesday.

The swollen Savinja in Celje.
File photo

The main tourist season in the Savinja Valley starts in June and lasts till mid-September, peaking in August. "Therefore the shortfall will be very great," the agency said, adding that the floods did not only destroy campsites and apartment facilities but also basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

It is estimated that between 1,500 and 1,800 tourists were in the valley during the floods. Some left before the worst due to poor weather. "All those who wanted, have left their lodgings and are safe."

Many tourism providers closed their doors in the aftermath and some have made their capacities available to people who had to leave their homes.

Meanwhile the municipality of Solčava, the northernmost town in the valley, decided to shut down all tourism facilities for safety reasons and the neighbouring municipality of Luče is expected to follow suit.

Elsewhere in the valley, tourism providers who sustained no or only slight damage, remain open for business.

Last year, nearly 200,000 overnight stays were recorded in the upper Savinja Valley, while 50,000 have been recorded between January and June this year, the agency said.

It is impossible to say when tourism will be revived in the Savinja Valley. "Repairs will take a long time. But tourism infrastructure located at higher altitudes has remained undamaged; at least where there is no danger of landslides. Those destinations could be the first to welcome guests."

"We hope to see as many reservations as possible for next year. That is also the best way for people to help tourism providers in the valley," the agency said.

© STA, 2023