A reasonable development of the Tatras is in the interest of local authorities as well as entrepreneurs
As for the territory of Slovakia, the Tatras have been the area of TMR´s interest for a long period. In order to hold a constructive discussion about the Tatras, the company initiated a platform called “What kind of Tatras do we want” which has been used to present positive examples of making reasonable business in the Tatras and inspirations from various resorts in Europe and around the world. “We have been using thee What kind of Tatras do we want – platform to formulate our vision of the Tatras from the point of view of entrepreneurs and at the same time toget feedback and opinions about the development of the Tatras from people around Slovakia. Being entrepreneurs with experience in several countries, we perceive our role mainly in introducing innovative projects and suggestions for a reasonable development of tourism in the Tatras. That is why we would be happy if we could hold a normal discussion with all relevant partners. Views of entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in developing this area and improving the quality of services here should be as relevant as opinions of other parties,” said the general manager and chairman of the board of TMR, Bohuš Hlavatý.
Of almost 1,300 respondents from all around Slovakia that were included in a research, 75% said the issue of the development of the High Tatras referred to the whole territory of Slovakia. Only 12% of them think that it is only a matter of inhabitants that live in the town of Vysoké Tatry and 9% hold the view that the Tatras should be dealt with on the regional level.
Transport problems in the Tatras concern everybody
Based on the research, transport is seen as one of the most serious problems in the Tatras by all age groups. Transport and parking were also considered top issues that should be developed in the Tatras with the highest priority. The intensity of passenger transport and problems with parking represent a big challenge for all tourist resorts – the turnout increases, seasons are longer and the periods which appear to be problematic seem to be longer and longer if compared with the past.
The bad transport situation can be felt most strongly in Tatranská Lomnica, mainly during the winter season. Due to a lack of parking places, it takes longer for clients to come to the resort, the traffic is tailing back, people park along roads or in the worst-case scenario, leave the mountain resort as not satisfied clients. “The way how transport problems are solved is significant for our development plans in the Tatras. In all our resorts, movement of our visitors and parking are very important. However, we do not regard building more car parks without considering other transport possibilities between resorts to be a system solution,” added Mr. Hlavatý.
Interconnecting resorts will guarantee better services and transport accessibility
TMR knows about the intensive interest of the public in restoring skiing in the settlements of Smokovce. However, the development of Smokovce cannot be considered separately at present because a small ski resort with a limited offer of pistes could not attract enough clients and thus would not be able to survive. This is one of the reasons why TMR suggested interconnecting the settlements of Smokovce and Tatranská Lomnica by a cableway. “Interconnecting smaller resorts is a trend all around the world as besides a better offer of services for clients, it has a positive effect on where our clients go and what they do in the resorts,” explained Mr. Hlavatý.
The interconnecting cableway whose route is being considered in two versions so far (Hrebienok – interchange station Štart and Hrebienok – Skalnaté Pleso) would decrease the migration of clients by non-ecological car transport. That would reduce the ecological burden but also the need of creating more car parks. At the same time, comfortable and trouble-free movement of clients between resorts would make the settlements of Smokovce more attractive accommodation destinations and result in a natural development of services. The cableway could be used all year round and guarantee transport for various groups of visitors. The benefits of such a cableway in the context of the whole transport system between resorts in the Tatras should be verified by a traffic study which is in progress currently and whose results should be known in the autumn of 2017. “It is becoming apparent that a complex view of the transport situation in Tatra resorts is inevitable when planning further development of the Tatras. That is why our project of an interconnecting cableway is not only another step in order to make the resorts more attractive and attract more clients but also a reasonable solution how to develop the settlements of Smokovce and Tatranská Lomnica in a sustainable way, without increasing the traffic load,” concluded Mr. Hlavatý.
Besides doing business in Slovakia, the TMR company is active also in Poland (amusement park Legendia, ski resort Szczyrk), the Czech Republic (co-management of the ski area of Špindlerův Mlýn) and is looking for further investment possibilities in other countries as well. During the 10-year-long period of its existence, TMR has invested over 230 million EUR in the field of tourism, which resulted in two top-class mountain resorts in the Low and High Tatras, and a network of accommodation facilities – hotels in the Tatras. Besides services in the field of skiing and transport infrastructure, the portfolio of TMR includes an amusement park and water parks, brand shops, rentals and restaurant services. As for the so called destination management, creating of the GOPASS loyalty destination programme is considered a significant contribution of TMR. The programme was awarded on the international level and has over 495,000 members today.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is the leader in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe; it owns and operates attractive mountain resorts, amusement parks, restaurant facilities, sports services, shops and hotels. In the Low Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Jasná Nízke Tatry and hotels Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri Studničky, Chalets Jasná De Luxe, Hotel Srdiečko, and Hotel Rotunda. TMR is also the owner of Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak aquapark with year-round operation, which besides water entertainment includes Tropical Paradise, a special tropical indoor hall with sea water, as well as Fun Park, and accommodation in bungalows and apartments of Holiday Village Tatralandia. In the High Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Vysoké Tatry with mountain areas of Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso, which TMR co-manages. In the High Tatras TMR also owns hotels Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso and Mountain hotel Hrebienok. TMR also owns a 9.5 % share in Melida, a.s., which leases and operates the resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. In Poland TMR owns a 97% share in the mountain resort Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski S.A. (SON), a 75% share in a company that owns and operates Silesian Amusement Park (Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko) and a 7.3% share in an amusement-educational project via the Polish company Korona Ziemi Sp. z.o.o. TMR also owns and leases hotels Slovakia, Kosodrevina, Liptov and Ski&Fun Záhradky a Bungalovy to third parties. By the end of 2016 EUR 230 mil. had been invested into development and modernisation of TMR’s resorts. TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw.