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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 17.04.2021, 04:46

EU Commission approves Latvia's support mechanism for hotels

BC, Riga, 03.12.2020.Print version
The European Commission has approved Latvia's support mechanism intended to help crisis-stricken hotels cover their operating costs in the current times of crisis, writes LETA, according to the Economics Ministry's statement published in the official gazette Latvijas Vestnesis.

On November 3 this year, the Cabinet of Ministers endorsed the Economics Ministry's proposal to earmark EUR 4,746,290 for covering various costs incurred by crisis-hit hotels, including employees' wages, utility bills and various other expenses. 


The support measures have been included in the government regulations for the provision of support to Covid-19-affected businesses in the tourism industry. 


It is expected that the support could be provided to around 200 hotels across Latvia, which means that the average amount would be EUR 23,731 per applicant. The financial support will be available to hotels until June 2021.


The support program needed approval from the European Commission which has concluded that the planned support is compatible with the European Union' (EU) single market rules.


The Latvian Investment and Development Agency will start accepting applications for the support money this month.


Under the regulation approved by the government, the hotels would receive EUR 4 per square meter in support to cover their operating costs.


The support money will be made available also to tourist enterprises established after June 2019, which until now did not qualify for government support.


The EUR 4,746,290 financing has been provided from the support program that was originally created to cover repatriation costs of tour operators and the unused money from the support instrument introduced by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency for tourism companies hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Economics Minister Janis Vitenbergs (KPV LV) said earlier that as Latvia fights against the Covid-19 pandemic and more restrictions are being introduced, government support to businesses becomes increasingly essential.


"The government's decision will help some of the tourist industry companies, which are currently on the verge of bankruptcy, to deal with the situation. The sector is practically paralyzed - international passenger traffic is halted, as a result of which there are only few foreign guests in Latvia, and this has a direct and extremely negative impact on the hotels' operations. The risk of insolvency in the hotel sector has become high," the minister said.






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