Due to the lockdown, the Titlis Bergbahnen lost months of high sales and, since reopening at the beginning of June, have recorded a marked decline in visitors compared to previous years. The international tourism business is not expected to normalize in the coming year either. The Engelberg company is reacting to the consequences of pandemic with various measures.
Due to the frequent cancellations of international travel groups and the absence of international guests, the Titlis Bergbahnen began to feel the first effects of the corona pandemic in January 2020. With the official closure of the company on March 14th, the company found itself in an extraordinary crisis situation. Since the TITLIS Bergbahnen have achieved excellent results in recent years, strengthened their profitability and were able to completely reduce debt, the Engelberg company is financially on solid feet. Reserves such as building land, apartments, strategic positions and the TITLIS 3020 project, which is ready for implementation, also contribute to this.
Nevertheless, overcoming the greatest crisis, which shook the entire travel industry around the world and practically paralyzed it in many places, is a great challenge for the TITLIS Bergbahnen. The summer guests, 80 percent of whom have come from abroad, are missing from the company and cannot be compensated by the Swiss guests. That is why costs have been massively reduced and projects suspended. The short-time work allowance that could be claimed after the lockdown was very helpful.
The TITLIS Bergbahnen do not believe in a quick normalization of the international tourism business and see themselves being forced by the current development to adapt the resources to the new realities. Most employees are currently working on a reduced schedule, and short-time working will continue until the end of November 2020. To this end, the Board of Directors decided that from September the difference between the short-time work compensation and wages will no longer be compensated and that no bonus will be paid to employees for the 2019/20 financial year. Although the workload is still very low, there will be no mass layoffs in order to improve the crisis situation and the increased need for staff in the winter season. However, it cannot be ruled out that individual layoffs may occur in the fall.
The board of directors and the management of TITLIS Bergbahnen are challenged like hardly ever before in overcoming the crisis. The employees are the most valuable asset of the traditional company, which is why this challenging time should be mastered together. As a sign of solidarity, the Board of Directors has decided to voluntarily waive 30 percent of the total remuneration for the period from the 2020 AGM to the 2021 AGM. The variable salary component of the management and the CEO will be reduced substantially for the current financial year and 2020/21 due to the extraordinary situation.
Those responsible are convinced that the company is well equipped and positioned to successfully overcome this crisis and that TITLIS Bergbahnen will continue to make an important contribution to economic value creation and as an employer with its innovative spirit and adaptability.