The Slovenia Times

Postojna Cave almost back to pre-pandemic visitor levels

Postojna Cave, Postojna
Live nativity scene performance in Postojna Cave.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The Postojna Cave, one of Slovenia's most popular natural landmarks, was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year visitor numbers have more than doubled from those recorded last year and are nearing the figures seen before the pandemic.

Marjan Batagelj, the CEO of Postojnska Jama, the company operating the cave, told reporters on 22 December they expected to welcome 600,000 visitors by the end of the year.

This compares to more than 874,000 visitors in 2019, which was a record year for Slovenian tourism. However, due to lockdowns the figure dropped to only 129,000 in 2020 before rising to 259,000 in 2021.

The sights managed by Postojnska Jama, which include the Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, attracted a record 1.37 million visitors in 2019. The numbers dropped to around 253,000 and 437,000 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

The pandemic also affected the structure of visitors. Before, more than 30% came from outside of Europe, mostly from Asia. This year those visitors account for only about 10%.

Most visitors this year (38%) come from the largest European markets and 11% are from Slovenia, which is up from only 7% before the pandemic.

The rising visitor numbers have also reflected positively on the company's revenue and profit.

"The business year is not over yet, but considering we've posted €25 million in turnover, we can assess it will be a good one," Batagelj said. Given the current trends, revenue is expected to reach €33 million in 2023.

The company's operating revenue plummeted to €8.4 million in 2020 from €31.4 million in 2019 before recovering slightly in 2021 to €13.5 million.

This year and the next the company expects the profit to surpass the €2.4 million generated in 2021. In 2020 it posted a loss of €2.1 million, after reporting an all-time high profit of €9.8 million in 2019.

The Postojna Cave will host a live nativity scene for the 32nd year between 25 and 30 December. More than 100 actors will perform, along with some well-known Slovenian singers.


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