Brussels approves state aid to Postojna Cave due to closure

Brussels – The European Commission has approved the state aid to the operator of the Postojna Cave in the form of a lower concession fee for the use of Slovenia’s national landmark. Postojnska Jama was forced to close the cave to the public between 16 March and 31 May.

The state aid, worth EUR 760,000 in the form of a lowered concession fee, is expected to cover part of the loss incurred by the cave operator due to the closure under the government decree related to the coronavirus epidemic.

Assessing the aid scheme under the EU rules on state aid, the European Commission has decided that the lowered basic concession fee was an appropriate measure, the Commission’s representation in Slovenia said on Wednesday.

The closure and other restrictive measures related to the epidemic have considerably affected the bottom line of Postojnska Jama, which said in September it would need to lay off a large number of its employees.

The company has estimated that it recorded a 83% drop in the number of visits in the first eight months of the year.

The Postojna Cave is a global destination and foreign guests represent 93% of total visit. “It is evident that the loss is enormous,” the company said at the time, adding that the number of Slovenian guests had also dropped by 20%.