Estonian govt decides about terms of EUR 5.8 mln crisis package for tourism sector

  • 2020-10-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian government on Thursday approved the target groups and terms of a 5.8-million-euro crisis package for the tourism sector. 

Most of the available funds will move to the target groups via the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Enterprise Estonia (EAS) foundation. An amount of 200,000 euros of the sum total available under the measure is meant for organizers of international concerts and will move to the target groups via the Ministry of Culture, spokespeople for the government said.

Prime Minister Juri Ratas said that of the various sectors of the economy, the tourism sector has taken the biggest blow due to COVID-19 and the state is trying, in accordance with its means and resources, to help the field that has fallen into a crisis internationally.

"During the first wave of the virus the government allocated 25 million euros to tourism businesses. Now we directed additionally 5.8 million euros to tourism entrepreneurs in order for it to be possible to partially offset the damage caused by the crisis," Ratas said in a press release. 

"Every one of us can make a contribution to the domestic tourism business. The contribution of each individual domestic guest today is more important than ever before in order for us to have enterprises to visit also in the seasons to come," the prime minister said.

Minister of Foreign Trade and IT Raul Siem said that the terms of the measure for the tourism sector were set out in accordance with the specifics of the tourism business and the scope of the damage incurred as a result of the crisis.

"It's important to support those business operators who were not among the target groups of the crisis support in spring, as well as those who continue to be most affected by various restrictions," Siem said.

According to the government's decision, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be offering direct support via EAS in the form of one-off, non-refundable aid for the partial offsetting of the damage arising from the pandemic.

The target groups for the EAS direct support are accommodation providers, attractions, providers or tourism service, guides, international passenger service operators, conference organizers, and travel companies having an IATA accreditation. 

The size of the one-off payout via EAS is from 2,000 to 60,000 euros depending on the business operator's field of activity, size, loss of revenue, amount of labor taxes paid to the state, and the need to survive the crisis period. 

For providers of tourism services and guides the amount is either 3,000 or 5,000 euros per business depending on the business operator's revenue. International passenger service operators will be entitled to an amount of up to 200,000 euros per business.

Information about the start of the application period and deadlines of application will be provided by EAS on its website and e-service environment. The application period will probably start in November.

The terms of the provision of support from the amount of 200,000 euros set aside for organizers of international concerts will be set out and the payouts executed by the Ministry of Culture.

The government decided at its Cabinet sitting on Oct. 1 to allocate to the tourism sector crisis aid in the amount of 5.8 million euros. The money is the unused portion of the package of crisis measures implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and EAS in spring.