The TMR company, i.e. the operator of the Jasná and Vysoké Tatry mountain resorts interrupted their operation on 25th October. “The aim is to maximise the effect of the precautions adopted by the government. It is clear today that the situation is very serious and can be handled only if we all act responsibly and together. When deciding to close all cableways, hotels and gastronomy facilities, we could rely on the existing state support system, which means that a temporary closure of resorts should not result in dramatic layoffs,” informed Igor Rattaj, the Chairman of the Board at TMR, a.s.
“In addition to all that, we are doing our best to communicate actively with the tourism department of the Ministry of Transport of the Slovak Republic and to offer suggestions and observations how to help tourism. We hope that the announced 100 million injection for tourism will help many people to survive, mainly owners of cafés, guest houses and other facilities who find themselves truly on the edge due to the Covid-season,” added Igor Rattaj.
It is necessary to support tourism entities in the present-day situation. All countries where TMR is active know that. In Poland and the Czech Republic, mountain resorts have been helped in the form of corona crisis grants, Austria has offered the so called “kurzarbeit” (short-term working) concept (with the state making up for employees’ wages) as well as fixed-cost compensation. However, only about 1/3 of the amount that should have been paid for the period of March – May has been received so far. The “kurzarbeit” system has been introduced in Slovakia gradually.
“It is important that during the first wave, also big companies were included in the employment assistance scheme. The system had some shortcomings at first – lack of valid written guidelines, chaotic arrangement of support applications. Once it had been set properly, the payments were made faster and everything became easier. When we apply for financial support in Slovakia nowadays, it takes two days to have the money in our account. Thanks to the state contributing to employee salaries, we could survive the most difficult period and keep the majority of jobs,” added Marek Schwarz, the general manager of the HR department at TMR.
Despite being closed, both mountain resorts – Jasná and Vysoké Tatry are getting ready for the winter season opening. In cooperation with LAVEX (interest group of cable car and ski lift operators), TMR has suggested a COVID traffic light system to the tourism department of the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic that could apply to mountain resorts and needs to be approved by a public health officer and the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic. This is one of the ways how to be forthcoming to experts and prepare mountain resorts for the season as good as possible. The operators are also reminding that the overall communication has to be more intensive. “We need to know about planned steps and restrictions as soon as possible because mountain resorts, various attractions or swimming pool complexes cannot be opened by pushing a single button. It requires some time. This would also help our guests, clients and visitors to adapt and decide. We want to believe that after having handled the first pandemic wave, we can do it now again and tourism that has been affected by the corona-crisis more than enough this year will get a chance to offer nicer moments to people soon,” concluded Igor Rattaj.