Last August marked seven years since the management of the Postojna Cave company was taken over by Marjan Batagelj; he assigned to it new development guidelines, set it high goals and thus built new foundations of not only Postojna’s but rather Slovenian tourism. During these years, tourism development has been created with the help of promotional and sales activities as well as with product development, raising the quality of services, and last but not least with investments into the infrastructure – in a manner that has prepared them for the seasons to come. The success seen now is only the result of careful planning and timely perception of the needs of modern guests.
This year, the Postojna Cave Park has recorded a phenomenally high number of visitors and they can speak about the best season of the last three decades and one of the best in general, since various records have been broken daily. Thus, exceptional results have been recorded with the number of visitors to all of the Park’s sights, occupancy of accommodation capacities, as well as the turnover in hospitality and trade. The record for the number of visitors in one day was set on Saturday, August 19th, when Postojna Cave was toured by 6,730 people, Predjama Castle by 2,892 guests, and other sights by another 3,000 visitors. The total of about 12,500 visits is more than comparable to the years when Postojna Cave was visited by the highest number of people. The majority of visitors still come from our traditional markets: Italy, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain, Poland, and other European countries; guests from South Korea, Japan, the USA, and Israel also rank among the top ten in number. The share of Slovenian visitors is, as usual, smaller than the annual average and hovers around 8%.
In general, all sights managed by the Postojna Cave Company record an increase of visitors in comparison to last year. The increase amounts to between 12 and 23%, depending on a particular spot, while the total number of visitors in comparison to the year before is higher by almost 15%, which is also the increase in visitors to Postojna Cave. From the beginning of this year until the end of August, Postojna was visited by 560,000 people, together with other sites of this company the number is 900,000. Before the end of the year, the 38 millionth visitor is expected at Postojna Cave, although this was actually planned for next year when there will be a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the inner parts of the cave. The company considers the financial indicators to be the most important. The Slovenian average turnover increase for tourist operators is 5.6%, which still indicates the “cheapness” of Slovenian tourism. In the first eight months, Postojna Cave saw an increase of 20%, therefore they are fairly certain to end the business year with € 25 million of turnover, in comparison to last year’s 20 million, and with 7 million of net profit (5 million last year). This enables them to make new investments and takeovers financed exclusively by their own funds. They never forget the satisfaction of their employees and additionally award their efforts in the record months. This provides high added value per employee, which will exceed € 70,000 this year.
Proving to be an excellent business move was the renovation of the Jama Hotel, which since its opening a year ago has become one of the best rated hotels in Slovenia. The hotel which is located in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to Postojna Cave, yet still in the midst of unspoilt nature, records excellent occupancy since during the summer months it is practically fully booked. The renovation of the second part of the hotel with an additional 80 rooms is currently under careful consideration. Following the main, summer season the hotel remains open; the only thing changing is the structure of its guests – the couples and families staying here during the summer will be replaced by business guests and groups. The company has proven that theories of how a hotel needs at least three years to become successful, do not hold true. Indeed, this hotel’s approach to hospitality is completely different from what is usual and established in the Slovenian space.
News has become a constant at the Postojna Cave company in recent years and is not in short supply this year either. Their offer is now supplemented with a new restaurant called “Magdalena Food & Fun”. It is a combination of contemporary street food and local specialties. Generally, the services in the Park are adjusted to the visitors’ requests, especially in hospitality, accommodation, and souvenirs. They also strive to preserve and upgrade the quality of all their services. Thus, a free-of-charge bus runs between Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, they still offer free guarded kennels where guests can leave their pets while touring the cave and they also had to increase the capacity due to demand. This year Predjama Castle introduced a photo-shoot in knight’s armour, knight camps with the opportunity to shoot with crossbows and bows, and a night-tour of the castle with sound interpretation.
But by far the most important is the news involving the interpretation of Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, Proteus Cave Vivarija, and the EXPO Pavilion, since they make the experience outstanding and unforgettable. Since this year, visitors have been able to enjoy the renovated Proteus Vivarium, which is dedicated to the extremely rich fauna of the cave and is supplemented with a display of last year’s historic happening – the olm’s reproduction. The vivarium has a special educational role, therefore the conceptual design was led by the desire to provide visitors, especially children, with the best memories of the animals seen here. This is how the World of the Darkness Heroes was created, with the special abilities of the animals put in the spotlight, almost as if they were superheroes we know from TV. The renovated vivarium offers the possibility to get to know, in a humorous and simple way, the fascinating and cute animals living in the world’s most diverse animal cave habitat.
They strive to make a visit to the attractions of Postojna Cave Park a special experience. This is confirmed by the fact that all of their attractions and accommodation have received the Certificate of Excellence for several years in a row. This certificate is awarded by the biggest tourist website in the world, TripAdvisor, and is based on the opinions of visitors. All of their attractions score at least 4.5 out of 5.