Current information on measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate its impact on Slovenian tourism
Both global and Slovenian tourism are currently facing an unprecedented situation. The virus has caused a global tourism crisis, led to major restrictions and put a stop to travels. Tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, ski slopes, museums and travel agencies have all closed. Tourism has come to a halt in Slovenia, in Europe and in the world, but above all, the virus has brought with it an uncertainty about its duration and impact on tourism.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released a forecast that up to 50 million jobs are at risk in the tourism sector worldwide, and the virus could cause a 25 per cent drop in international travel this year, resulting in a 12 to 14 per cent drop in number of jobs in the tourism sector. It is unclear how long it will take for the global economy to recover from the virus. According to Economist Intelligence Unit it may even take a year. However, tourism only came to a temporary halt. Tourism is an industry that is among the first to be hit by crises and is impacted greatly, but it is also an industry that recovers relatively quickly and thus contributes significantly to the recovery of the entire economy. The World Tourism Organization, the European Travel Commission and other reputable international institutions in the field of tourism emphasise the great importance of tourism in containing the spread of the virus by acting responsibly and the active role of tourism in the recovery of global and national economies. Tourism is an industry that contributes significantly to economic growth, budgetary inflows and employment, but it is, above all, a responsible activity that puts people's safety, health and well-being first. It is important that we contribute to the containment of the virus by acting responsibly towards ourselves, our loved ones, our employees and everyone in society.
It is time to act responsibly so that Slovenian tourism can, as soon as possible, reopen its doors to domestic and foreign guests and contribute to the country's economic recovery. In these very difficult times for Slovenian tourism, we at the Slovenian Tourist Board and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology strive for quick and effective action to mitigate the negative effects of the virus. Below we have listed the measures already available to you for this purpose. We ask you to also follow the measures that the ministry is currently preparing to aid the economy and tourism.
In order to overcome the virus in the shortest time possible and effectively, we invite you to join the call #StayAtHome and the call of the World Tourism Organization: "Stay home – but travel tomorrow!".
Adapted marketing and promotional activities of the STB
The STB published amendments to its public tender in support of Slovenian tourism companies, adapted to the new market situation
The STB published a new public tender on 28 February 2020, thus bringing companies closer to the possibility of co-financing smaller promotional projects and carrying out projects on the domestic market. Today, on 20 March, the STB published amendments to the open tender for co-financing the promotion of the Slovenian tourist offer this year. Due to the announced changes in tourist flows, the STB adapted one of the key criteria of the public tender: promotion of tourism products outside the main tourist season, by rewarding those tenderers who will carry out 60% or more of their overall promotional activities outside the main tourist season with the maximum number of points according to this criterion (25 points).
The STB also increased the value of the public tender from EUR 431,294.55 to EUR 650.000, thus providing support for up to 65 projects.
Tailored measures and activities
The STB also responded to the current unstable economic situation in tourism through a series of other measures and activities:
- it amended two current public tenders for co-financing in support of promotional activities of Slovenian tourist companies and leading destinations, with the additional possibility of carrying out activities on the domestic market. The total value of tenders is EUR 2 million;
- it raised the STB's means for promotion for Slovenian travel agencies and tour operators by an additional EUR 70,000 to EUR 200,000.
- it adapted the STB's presentations in foreign markets; the STB is postponing events in accordance with the situation and is introducing other forms of cooperation with tour operators and travel agencies such as webinars, additional activities for sales promotion, i.e. sales calls;
- it adjusted the dynamics of the global digital campaign by increasing advertising intensity in the second half of the year;
- it will carry out extra promotion on the domestic market; a marketing and communication campaign is being prepared in cooperation with the Slovenian tourism economy for encouraging locals to spend their holidays in Slovenia;
- it strengthened educational activities with the aim of maximising the effectiveness of promotional and development activities during the recovery period in tourism; projects for increasing added value in Slovenian tourism continue (Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, Slovenia Unique Experiences or 5-star experiences, the Sejalec and Snovalec calls for applications);
- it regularly informs all publics about the effects and measures because of the coronavirus impact (the web addresses are available below).
II. Information from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology on measures to reduce the negative impact of the coronavirus
To manage the situation and reduce the harmful effects on the Slovenian economy and tourism in the long run, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology adopted a series of measures with which the ministry will come to the aid of the Slovenian economy, which is facing a number of problems due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology is also preparing additional measures for the economy, including for the self-employed.
On 19 March, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted two laws. The first law provides for a one-year deferral of the repayment of loans for persons who were forced to close down their businesses on the basis of the state order, while the second law stipulates that the state will cover part of the wages of workers who are temporarily laid off. More information can be found below.
Credit lines of SID Bank and the Slovene Enterprise Fund
The credit lines of SID Bank and the Slovene Enterprise Fund include the following measures for the tourism industry.
Slovene Enterprise Fund
The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Slovene Enterprise Fund are preparing measures for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises totalling around EUR 115 million. Funds will be available for different purposes, ranging from new fast-track liquidity loans offered by the Fund to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to overcome the liquidity crunch caused by the coronavirus outbreak, to the existing insurance guarantees for bank loans primarily earmarked for new investments and with adjustments for the financing of current assets to tackle the consequences of the epidemic. All these funds will be available on the market in March.