New vouchers redeemable from today

Ljubljana – Starting from Friday, all Slovenian residents can benefit from a new batch of government-sponsored vouchers, which unlike the holiday-at-home vouchers issued last year, can be redeemed for a variety of services and goods, including textbooks for schoolchildren.

Part of the government Covid-19 relief aid, the vouchers come in two amounts, at EUR 100 for adults and EUR 50 for those under 18, and are thus valued at a total of EUR 192.2 million.

They can be used to pay for goods and services in tourism, hospitality, sports and culture, the sectors hit hardest by lockdowns. The first booking on the new voucher was made just after midnight and the first voucher was redeemed in Koper at 6:30am.

Presenting the details on Friday, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said the vouchers can be redeemed until the end of the year at tourism accommodation facilities, bars and restaurants, bookshops, museums and concerts, gyms and sport clubs, amusement parks and ski resorts.

Those who have not yet redeemed last year’s vouchers, which can only be used for accommodation and breakfast, will be able to combine them with the new vouchers with the same provider.

Out of last year’s EUR 365.8 million worth of vouchers (at EUR 200 and 50), the minister said 53% or about EUR 153.6 million worth have been booked or redeemed. The latter figure is lower because some have redeemed only part of their voucher.

The vouchers are part of the latest Covid-19 relief package, valued at EUR 243.5 million, with the bulk of measures aimed at tourism. “This is not the only aid for Slovenian tourism, which was hit hardest by the pandemic,” said Počivalšek.

The industry was closed for much of last year and this, but has benefited from EUR 705 million worth of various support measures under the eight stimulus laws, or a total of more than one billion euro when other measures are included.

Počivalšek announced the ministry was working on a one-off extra aid for the most affected parts of tourism, which would benefit city hotels, travel agencies that bring visitors to Slovenia and the convention industry.