New stimulus package for tourism forthcoming

Ljubljana – The government will shortly unveil a new stimulus package tailored specifically to the tourism, hospitality and events industries. The legislation will involve an extension of some existing measures as well as new measures, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said on Thursday.

The furlough subsidies, compensation of fixed costs and income support will be extended until the end of the year and “corrected to benefit those who have been shut down”, he told the management board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS).

New measures include compensation for loss of income for tourism operators that have been shut down longest, compensation for the annual holiday allowance, and waiver of fees for the use of thermal water.

Počivalšek also expressed the hope that the deferral of loan payments, a measure that has ended but which many business organisations have said should be extended, would be put in place again.

He said there were problems with the European Bank Agency, which is involved in talks on the scheme along with the Ministry of Finance and the central bank.

The minister is also optimistic that the coming easing of restrictions – outdoor hospitality will open on Saturday and accommodation next week – will help “revitalise the hospitality industry”.

The statement comes amidst warnings by businesses that the tourism industry is on the verge of collapse after being shut down since autumn, with cash support from the state insufficient to keep it afloat.

GZS president Boštjan Gorjup said that the tourism industry was “on the edge of the precipice”, which is why fast action is needed to prop up the sector.