Heating costs at spas in Estonia's summer capital, Pärnu, will rise by over 60 percent and there are real concerns about the oncoming winter, managers have said. Other costs are also rising.
Leisure facilities in the city in western Estonia are busier than usual this week with both domestic and international visitors due to the school holidays, Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.
But fears are rising and it is difficult to be optimistic about the coming winter.
An announcement from Gren heating company that prices would rise by 63 percent from November 25 took entrepreneurs' breath away.
Over the last three years, Estonia's tourism industry has lurched from crisis to crisis, Kairi Lusik, CEO of Viking, told AK. If something positive occurred, it was almost immediately followed by something negative, she added.
"We've changed the lamps in the spa to motion detectors, in the water park we decided — after much deliberation, of course — to reduce the opening hours by one hour during the week, we are now open until 9 o'clock. We have stock exchange electricity [a non-fixed rate]," Lusik said, explaining how her spas are trying to adapt.
Head of Tervis Spaa Group Jaan Ratnik said, while trade over the last nine months has been good — returning to pre-pandemic levels — it is better not to think about the winter.
"Risks are very high," said Ratnik.
"Today, our electricity costs are still under control, we are not quite in a free market. But from January 1, we will have the stock exchange price [of electricity] for both venues, and if it starts to rise over 20 cents from there, then these are prices that will wipe out any potential revenue or profit from our business model."
Ratnik said something that really helped the business was partnering with the Social Insurance Board to house Ukrainian refugees. At the peak, 200 people were staying with the company and around 70 are still accommodated.
Tervis Spaa Group has also reapplied to the agency to offer shelter to more refugees, but the results of the tender are not yet known.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera