The Director of the National Association of Travel Agencies of Serbia (YUTA), Aleksandar Senicic, said that “there is little hope” that the state will find a way to help travel agencies with special measures to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are waiting for the official position of the Serbian government, but our hope that the state will find a way to help the agencies with special measures is diminishing, since it did not have budget revenue for four months,” Senicic told the Beta news agency.
He added that almost no country in Europe has denied additional assistance to travel agencies, that Montenegro, for example, has recently extended assistance to the amount of 70% of the travel agency’s gross revenue and that the UK is gradually extending financial support to three months.
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“They told us that the only thing they could do was to offer us loans from the Development Fund, but this is not aid; loan is a commercial thing, no matter how low the interest rate,” Senicic said.
He added that he hoped that the tourist season would start on 1 July and that the travel agencies are disappointed by the position of the state and the delay in implementing assistance.
The Ministry of Finance had announced aid for the most at-risk sectors of the economy, and then backtracked arguing that “the technical conditions are no longer in place because the state of emergency has been lifted” and it is not possible to approve the aid without the budget review, for which there is no time because of the upcoming elections.
“The big travel agencies will survive without additional help by laying off workers, while the small ones will close,” Senicic concluded.
This post is also available in: Italiano