Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister: Legislation Being Discussed to Aid Tourism Business, Hard-Hit by COVID-19

For all trips to Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Romania, refunds may be requested, Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said on March 13, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

“We spoke with the tour operators, with the airlines, they themselves announced on their sites and also informed us, that up to 48 hours from the date of the holiday, everyone can be refunded 100 per cent of the amount they paid,” Angelkova said.

She said that together with the tourism industry, her ministry was seeking balanced solutions in the interests of both consumers and the firms.

The tourism industry has asked for special concessions from the state to tackle the problems in the sector caused by the situation with the spread of the coronavirus.

Major tourist associations in Bulgaria report a 75 per cent drop in sales of tourist services. Citing this, they are calling for tax and social benefits.

The industry is seeking concessions in respect of social security costs, interest-free deferment of payment of value-added tax, municipal taxes and refuse taxes, for a year starting from April 1.

They also want no less than 200 million leva (about 100 million euro) facility from Bulgarian Development Bank to refinance loans to tourism businesses from commercial banks, among other measures.

Angelkova said that legislation was being discussed to compensate the tourism industry, which is being hard-hit by the spread of coronavirus.

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