Estonian Government Allocates Support Funds for Tourism Industry
Yesterday, the Government of Estonia approved the target groups and conditions of the 5.8 million euro crisis package for the tourism sector. Most of these funds will be directed to the target groups via the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Enterprise Estonia. The amount of 200,000 euros of these funds will be allocated to organisers of international concerts; this amount will be directed to the target group by the Ministry of Culture.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas noted that of the various economic sectors, COVID-19 has dealt the biggest blow to the tourism sector; the state is trying to help this sector that has fallen into an international crisis. “During the first wave of the virus, the Government allocated 25 million euros to tourism sector undertakings. Now we have allocated an additional 5.8 million euros to tourism companies so that the crisis losses can be partially compensated,” he said. “Each of us can contribute to local tourism business. The contribution of every domestic visitor is more important today than ever before, so that we have companies to visit in the coming seasons as well.”
Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Raul Siem mentioned that the conditions for support in the tourism sector have been developed according to the specifics of tourism sector undertakings and to the extent of the damage caused by the crisis. “It is important to support those undertakings who were not among the target groups of the support provided during the spring crisis, and those who continue to be most affected by various restrictions. These companies are finding it most difficult to withstand the current situation,” Siem added.
According to the Government’s decision, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will offer direct subsidies through Enterprise Estonia, the purpose of which is to provide one-time non-refundable aid to partially compensate for crisis losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The target groups for Enterprise Estonia’s direct grants are accommodation companies, attractions, tourism service providers, guides, international regular services operators, conference organisers and IATA-accredited travel companies.
The amount of crisis support provided by Enterprise Estonia per undertaking ranges from 2,000 to 60,000 euros, with this being dependant on the company’s field of activity, size, loss of turnover, labour taxes paid to the state and the need to survive the crisis period. Separate support in the amount of 3,000 or 5,000 euros is available for tourism service providers and guides, the amount of support paid being dependant on the company’s turnover; international regular service operators will also be able to apply for aid of up to 200,000 euros per undertaking.
Enterprise Estonia shall announce the start of the application period and the application deadlines on its website and in its e-service. Applications for Enterprise Estonia’s direct grants are likely to open in November.
The Government directed 200,000 euros in crisis aid to the support of international concert organisers. The conditions of support will be developed and payments made by the Ministry of Culture.
At a cabinet meeting on 1 October, the Government decided to direct 5.8 million euros of crisis aid to the tourism sector. These funds were previously unused as part of the crisis measures packages (targeted to the tourism sector and small businesses in the total amount of 35 million euros) implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in spring of this year.