Natia Turnava Introduced Tourism Revival Anti-Crisis Plan

A presentation of the Tourism Revival Anti-Crisis Plan was held within the framework of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council headed by the Prime Minister at the Georgian Government Administration.

The plan envisages targeted assistance to the tourism sector within the third phase and phases of the implementation.

Natia Turnava, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, explained in details the new stage of the assistance to the sector within the framework of the tourism revival anti-crisis plan.

According to the plan, a new phase of assistance to the tourism sector will be launched in May 2020, according to which the accommodation facilities will be exempted from the 2020 property tax, and the income tax will be delayed by the end of 2020.

At the same time, the loans of the housing facilities will be subsidized for 6 months if their turnover does not exceed GEL 20 million, the state will subsidize 80% of the interest expense of the first 5 million GEL on such facilities.

In addition, the accommodation of the tourist facilities at the international fares will be subsidized, as well as the facilitation of introduction and implementation of the UNWTO recommendations.

As for food facilities, they will be exempt from the property tax in 2020 and freed from the income tax until the end of the year, so they will be able to use the credit-guarantee scheme and the Government will help them to implement the UNWTO recommendations.

Tourism revival anti-crisis plan also provides benefits for travel companies and guides. In particular, they will be exempt from property tax in 2020, the income tax will be delayed by the end of 2020, the bank guarantee interest will be subsidized for 6 months, as well as the participation in tourism exhibitions will be subsidized. The Government will also provide different training programs and offer other types of assistance.

The budget for the third phase of the tourism revival anti-crisis plan will total to 200 million GEL. In addition to the tax benefits, 60 million GEL will be spent from the state budget to subsidize hotel loans and about 3000 hotels will benefit from this support, and it is also planned to allocate 5 million GEL to support travel companies and guides.

The Minister highlighted due to the effective management of the epidemiological situation, Georgia is considering opening a new tourist season with a new competitive advantage as a safe destination.

According to the plan, the tourism revival will be carried out in three stages.

First is the preparation phase when the security standards will be introduced in the industry, promotion of the private sector in their implementation, creation of safe corridors between the countries, conducting an international marketing campaign with the slogan “Georgia – a safe destination”, etc.

Second phase, which will begin on June 15, aims to activate domestic tourism and create safe tourist zones.

The third stage, which is from July 1, international tourism will be launched. In particular, the opening of land and air borders in accordance with safe corridors and the gradual restoration of flights.

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. © 2021