Europe approves 700 million euro program to boost tourism
Through a statement released by the EU Commission mid-week last week, the Executive Vice President of Competition Policy, Margrethe Vestager, emphasized that companies operating in the tourism sector have suffered a significant decline. about customers and profits due to the Covid-19 outbreak and strict disease prevention measures.
In Europe, the tourism industry is forecast to fully recover only by 2025, 2 years behind the global average, in which the loss of tourist revenue from Asia, especially China, is considered the main reason for the slow recovery of the entire European tourism industry.
After 2 years of delay due to the epidemic, Eli – a Kenyan tourist, was finally able to make a holiday trip to Paris, France.
“The Covid-19 pandemic delayed my trip for two years. But in the end, we were able to go to Paris and have a great time,” said Mr. Eli Mwenda.
Visitors like Eli are bringing hopes of a recovery to the local tourism industry. The Paris tourist office forecasts that in the period from May to July, the number of foreign tourists will increase more than 5 times compared to the same period last year. Hotels and restaurants have all recorded a sharp increase in the number of bookings and table reservations.
“We’ve seen huge differences since February. Many countries have completely changed their travel policies during the Covid-19 period, and this has been really good for our business.” Ms. Jennifer Boccara, Hotel Manager Les Jardins Du Faubourg said.
“This €698 million Italian program will allow the country to support these companies by meeting their liquidity needs and ensuring the continuity of their operations. We continue to work closely together. Working closely with Member States to find possible solutions, to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with EU regulations,” he said.
Part of this budget will be provided through the European recovery programme. According to the EU Commission, based on the plan, support will come in the form of direct grants and tax credits to travel agencies, as well as loans to travel agencies and tour operators. .
“For travel companies, this measure is intended to partially offset the costs of improving apparatus, facilities and energy efficiency. Eligible beneficiaries will be entitled to receive grants up to 50% of eligible costs, within a maximum cap of 100,000 EUR per company,” the statement read.
For travel agents, this measure is intended to cover part of the costs associated with digital development and renovation activities. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to receive assistance in the form of a tax credit covering up to 50% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum limit of EUR 25,000 per beneficiary.
The program aims to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and help them continue their activities during and after the pandemic. The Commission also concluded that the program was subject to the conditions set forth in the Interim Framework. In particular, the grant will not exceed EUR 2.3 million per beneficiary and will be provided no later than June 30, 2022.
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