Tourism and hospitality participants in a state of emergency

Respecting recommendations of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in  state of emergency, all parties involved in tourism adjusted the working hours to their own needs, with the possibility of finding the best possible solutions for the safety and health of passengers and employees. Now, it is quite certain that tourism and service industry are the most economically impacted by the Covid – 19 virus. In Serbia, the situation in tourism industry is very critical, more than 7,000 employees  are dealing  with the fear of losing their jobs. Most of their activities are related to email correspondence or communication on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram.

 

The biggest problem for travel agencies is liquidity, because there is no daily income and the money paid by travelers for spring and summer trips has already been transferred to foreign partners, hotels and airlines, who are also in trouble because of the virus. Based on current situation, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications will adopt  the measures that will be taken for the already paid arrangements. Passengers have the opportunity to change the time or a voucher in the amount of the amount paid, which can be realized within one year from the date of the planned trip.

 

Any changes of reservations for summer season are suspended, until the end of state of emergency.There are no concrete measures for tourism industry still.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia requested travel agencies to provide information regarding:

1) the number of passengers, 2) the destination of the trip, 3) the amount paid for the travel arrangements, and 4) the number of passengers who canceled the travel arrangements or the number of passengers whit resolved complaints (money back or voucher accepted).

Number of passengers refers to passengers whose travel period is 1) by 5/15/2020 ; 2) by 8/31/2020, as well as the number of passengers whose period of travel is until the end of the current year. It is likely that, in line with this information, it will take some measures to resolve the enslavement between agencies and travelers who demand their money back.

For those agencies, which use Amadeus reservation system, Amadeus has made a decision of the delay of payments for the period of March, April and May of 2020 ( with the possibility of extending the deadline until the emergency situation ends), to four monthly installments starting from September of current year until the end of the year.

There is a similar situation with hotels, restaurants,  coffee shops etc. All service industry businesses are closed, due to ban of movement and ban of gathering.

Also micro and small business in the service sphere, found that the best solution for their business is freezing their business until further notice, in order to cut losses to minimums (wages, utility bills costs, taxes etc).

While waiting for concrete measures from Ministry of trade, tourism and telecommunications, Government of the Republic of Serbia released a notice on 10.04.2020 with a plan for economy recovery:

1.Regulation about fiscal benefits and direct investments to economy actors in private sector, as well as a regulation about financial aid to individual citizens in order to mitigate economic consequences made by corona virus outbreak.  According to this regulation, which  refers to fiscal benefits and it is related to economic measures made for the emergency situation, it is regulated how employers should pay tax and other benefits for employees. In addition to other measures, it is regulated that all business in private sector can delay tax and benefits payments during the emergency situation.

2.Regulation about determining a set of financial aid measures for business entities in order to maintain their liquidity and current financial assets in the times of financial crisis caused by the corona outbreak. This rule regulates financial aid measures towards private sector in the amount of three minimum wages for employees, for micro, small and medium sector. The Government will set aside 24 billions (RSD), Serbian dinars, for approving loans by Development Fund, and the interest rate will be 1 %. The right to use these funds will have all businesses: cooperatives, micro, small and medium sector which are majority owned by private or cooperatives parties, with the condition to provide manufacturing, service,trading or agricultural production .

Concrete changes and the realization of the measures is expected in the next period. Furthermore about these measure you can read on : https://www.mfin.gov.rs/tip-propisa/uredbe/