LJUBLJANA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Slovenian government has adopted a decree to reduce concession fees for thermal waters for swimming pools and heating for natural spas, reportedly for promoting its booming tourism.
According to the report of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), the concession fees being adopted at a government session on Wednesday, will be reduced by 40 percent in 2018.
While the Ministry of Economy sided with the spa companies, the Ministry of Environment warned that excessive use of water could deplete aquifers and bring serious challenges to the nation.
Environment Minister Irena Majcen criticised spas for not reducing the reserved quantities of water and for not being interested in returning unpolluted thermal water to aquifers.
Economic Development Minister Zdravko Pocivalsek, on the other hand, agreed with State Secretary Eva Stravs Podlogar to reduce the water licence fee, maintaining such decree is good for Slovenian tourism.
According to spas companies, the spa tourism generates one third of all tourist overnight stays in Slovenia, but it requires funds to develop.
It is estimated that Slovene spas will pay about 715,000 euros for thermal water licence fees in 2018, which is almost 612,000 euros less than this year, according to Slovene media.(1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)