Most Serbian travel agencies are at risk of closure

According to the Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (UTAS) and the Association of Independent Travel Agencies of Serbia (ANTAS), most of the country’s travel agencies are at a big risk of closure, thus jeopardizing millions of dinars that their clients have already paid for tourist arrangements that did not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the adoption of the new regulation, which stipulates that travel agencies have to obtain new bank guarantees if they want to continue working, both associations have requested that, in order to continue working, travel agencies should be allowed to sign only an annexe to the existing bank guarantee contracts, considering that they were not able to operate at all for the past 20 days due to the new regulation.

To remind, on October 1, the required bank guarantees that all the agencies with the status of “travel organizers” have to have to work, expired which means that their operating licenses also expired following a decision made by insurance companies which decided not to renew their insurance policies because of the high risk associated with tourist business.

“The details of the bank guarantees are only a formal solution that cannot be applied in practice and will not help to keep the agencies working”, say the associations.

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“Travel agencies are required to have bank guarantees in excess of 200,000 euro, which is unattainable for smaller agencies as they don’t have collateral of that value, while the larger tour operators need bank guarantees worth at least 400,000 euro,” the statement said.

This is also compounded by the fact that agencies are operating with losses of over 90% this year due to the pandemic and that the line ministry has not reacted to the problem in time, despite warnings.

In a statement, UTAS and ANTAS believe that only individual insurance policies for each individual trip can provide the best protection for tourists. If they obtain this type of insurance, that will not add to the existing cost of their travel arrangements as the cost of the previous insurance policy has already been included in the relevant travel agreement.

(Nova, 20.10.2020)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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