Representatives of the tourism industry will mount a protest in front of the Council of Ministers. They insist on state support for the sector suffering huge losses during the emergency situation. The key demands are a 5% reduction in VAT for tourism in the next two years, as well as an extension of the refund period for the prepaid but cancelled trips abroad, BNR reported. The organizer of the protest rally is the Future for Tourism Association.

According to the protest organizers, the measures so far taken to save the sector are insufficient and ineffective. Pavlina Ilieva, President of the organization, commented:

“Our demands are for clear and concrete deadlines within which the sums will be paid under the programs we have participated in.”

BGN 69 million is necessary for subsequent financing and the establishment of a guarantee fund that will provide money to refund our customers for trips foiled due to the pandemic.

Repayment is due to begin after March 13.

“The guarantee fund will ensure the stability of our industry.”

The Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agents (BTOTA) does not support the protest. They believe that this approach will generate inequalities in access to such state aid.

Dimitrina Goranova from the Management Board of BTOTA stated:

“Currently, the customers of certain tour operators will benefit, and then all tour operators will have to make contributions to the fund. A guarantee fund is usually set up in countries where the sector is stable.’