Source: eKapija | Tuesday, 25.08.2020.| 08:28
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State to Provide Hotels with EUR 350 per Bed, 150 for Each Room – Money to be Paid no Later than Early October

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City hotel owners in Serbia will get a one-off direct subsidy of EUR 350 per bed and EUR 150 per accommodation unit, which is the first sector measure aimed at mitigating the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, as pointed out at the meeting between representatives of hotel companies and the director of the Sector for Strategic Analyses, Services and Internationalization of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (CCIS), Mihailo Vesovic, with Finance Minister Sinisa Mali.

– The subsidy for city hotels is a very important form of support and will contribute to the companies persevering and surviving the period in which all the congresses and arrivals of business people have been canceled, in addition to keeping their workers. It's worrying that the occupancy rate in city hotels has dropped by as much as 93% since mid-March, and the measure will contribute to us maintaining the core of the hotel business in Serbia, as it is our brand, that we need to be recognized for – Vesovic said and added that the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia had been actively working on defining the measures toward mitigating the consequences of the pandemic to the economy, help and revive the most jeopardized branches of the economy, including tourism and hospitality.

Finance Minister Sinisa Mali pointed out that, after around ten days, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications would open a public invitation for hotel owners, specifying the criteria for benefiting from the support and that it was expected for the hotels to get the money in late September and no later than the first week of October, the CCIS announced.

Mali expressed his satisfaction that a large number of Serbian citizens decided to spend their summer vacations in Serbia in 2020, filling out the capacities in spas, mountain resorts and villages, but the lack of foreign guests has left the city hotels empty.

The minister said that, of around 380 categorized city hotels in the country, only 112 were open, whereas in Belgrade, of 115, only 42 worked, at around a 10% occupancy rate. The new measures mean that city hotel owners would get EUR 500 for a single-bed room.

The minister also reminded of the previous measures – the payment of the minimum wage, the postponement of the payment of taxes and contributions for salaries, the payment of one-off aid to all citizens and the payment of 60% of the minimum wage for a two-month period – which the state had adopted previously as help to the economy in mitigating the negative consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

– Adding the credits for liquid assets and the guarantee scheme to that, the total state aid is around 5.8 or 5.9 billion euros – Mali said.

Tomislav Momirovic, the president of the Managing Board of Mona Hotel Management, pointed out that the hotel business had gained a strong support with these measures.

– The government has helped us survive this period, which is very difficult for the hotel industry – he said.

The state secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Telecommunications, Miroslav Knezevic, has expressed satisfaction over the decision to additionally help hotel owners in urban areas, as they are the most jeopardized here.

– In the next ten days or so, we will invite hotel owners to apply for the help and I hope for a good response, because these systemic measures for the hospitality economy will contribute to the keeping of jobs and the overcoming of a very difficult period until the end of the year – Knezevic pointed out.
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