New tourist vouchers intended also for cultural, sport events

Ljubljana – Slovenia will introduce new tourism vouchers as it is finalising an emergency bill to help the tourism industry. Unlike the vouchers issued last year, it will also be possible to use these for services such as cultural and sport events or recreational activity, Economy Ministry State Secretary Simon Zajc said on Thursday.

“I hope we’re in the last week of coordination,” Zajc said at a news conference of the Slovenian Tourism Board in Ljubljana on Thursday.

The new vouchers are planned to be valid until the end of the year, but Zajc said their implementation would be more demanding because they would be used more broadly than the existing ones, which can be used only for accommodation with or without breakfast.

He declined to discus the sum but said that a somewhat lower sum than the existing vouchers had been discussed. Last year, adult residents received EUR 200 and underage residents EUR 50.

Introduced with the third emergency coronavirus package amid the epidemic in 2020 in the total amount of EUR 357 million, tourism vouches were initially to be used by the end of last year, but were later extended until the end of 2021.

Until the middle of this week, over 924,000 vouchers have been redeemed or services booked to be paid with them, which translates to almost EUR 132 million, said Zajc.

The government has so far provided over EUR 450 million to the hospitality and tourism sector, which includes the events industry and passenger transport, said Zajc.

Some 40% of the funds were allocated directly to preserve jobs, while liquidity loans have also been available, alongside another EUR 46 million for the coverage of operating costs through two tenders.

The state secretary said the bill would be discussed by the expert council for tourism next week, and then sent to the Economic and Social Council for debate.