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At the EURADE website on good practices in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in the field of tourism

  • 23. 7. 2020

mag. Lilijana Madjar, direktorica RRA LURRRA LUR director Lilijana Madjar was a speaker at the July webinar of the European Association of Regional Development Agencies (EURADA), dedicated to the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.

Tourism is one of the sectors of the economy that is facing the severest restrictions under measures designed to prevent the spread of the pandemic. The actions being taken by individual cities, regions and countries to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 were presented by various representatives of European organisations, above all for the purpose of transferring good practices to the countries of Latin America.

Lilijana Madjar presented measures being taken at the national, regional and local levels, with a particular focus on the package of measures introduced by the government to help the tourism and hospitality sector, which is one of the worst affected by the epidemic. These include: extension of temporary emergency aid for tourism enterprises until the end of 2020, extension of state funding of temporary absences from work and the planned establishment of a fund that will provide grants and favourable loans to finance current operations. She pointed out that the citizens of Slovenia are already using tourism “vouchers” to pay for accommodation or bed and breakfast in establishments throughout Slovenia, from hotels to mountain huts to campsites. The government expects this measure to have a multiplier effect, since the recipients of vouchers will also use other services in their chosen holiday destination. The total cost of this measure is €345 million. Ms Madjar also presented the activities of the Slovenian Tourist Board and Ljubljana Tourism. The latter has fully adapted its business tourism programme to the new conditions and developed new tourism products focused on the use of tourism vouchers in Ljubljana and the Ljubljana Urban Region.

She ended her presentation by highlighting, as an extremely important measure, the fact that the tourism and culture sectors will once again be eligible for EU grants in the period 2021–2027. This is extremely important in terms of long-term recovery from the consequences of COVID-19.

Pedro Alvarez of Malta Enterprise, the Maltese government’s economic development agency, explained that Malta has also introduced vouchers for its citizens, although unlike those in Slovenia these can also be used for eating out and cultural services. Sotiris Nikolaropoulos, director of the Regional Development Fund of Attica (Greece), explained that his region was also focusing on domestic visitors and small-group tourism.

All participants agreed that they want tourism to recover as soon as possible but that the health and safety of citizens and tourists remains the top priority, for which reason cooperating with healthcare institutions and following their recommendations is essential.

The webinar was moderated by EURADA director Esteban Pelayo.