Portorož, 21 June (STA) - A shortage of quality staff in Slovenian hotels amid what is a strong boom period for the sector was highlighted as a key issue at a conference of hotel managers hosted in Portorož on Thursday by the Tourism and Hospitality Chamber of Slovenia.
The president of the Slovenian Association of Hotel Managers Gregor Jamnik told participants that a lot of progress had been made since the association was formed six years ago but that many challenges remained.
"The major challenge is securing new staff," continued Jamnik, who said that staff shortage in a period of record results "has become the biggest and mostly a burning problem".
He noted that this was global problem and did not only plague the Slovenian hospitality sector.
"Without quality staff there is no quality service and no satisfied guest that could be asked to pay a high price," Jamnik stressed at the conference, which focused on this topic.
Meanwhile, speaking for the STA, Jamnik touched on the "unusually high number of state-owned or indirectly state-owned hotels" in Slovenia.
He did wish to say the state was automatically a bad owner, highlighting the "example of the Terme Olimia spa where the state is a very good owner", securing "more investment than at any other hotel in the country".
Still, Jamnik called on state to gradually sell off the hotels in the mid-term "for good money to quality owners".
As regards the excellent results of Slovenian hotels, he said "Slovenia is no longer a transit country, but a destination", where the average room price is still up to 30% lower than in neighbouring countries.
"What is definitely felt as well is the double budget of the Slovenian tourist board - their market is effective," he said, while adding that the entire region is also benefiting from the crisis of conflict-stricken traditional tourist destinations.
The event was also addressed by Economy Ministry State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar, who spoke of the importance of digitalisation, but added that "people remain the fifth star".
Štravs Podlogar argued that the efforts to address the staff situation should not focus solely on the children but include parents who often guide their children in their career choices.