Travel Agencies Waiting for Decision on Extension of COVID Support Measures

By 26 January 2022
Travel Agencies Waiting for Decision on Extension of COVID Support Measures
Photo: Josip Regovic/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 26 Jan 2022 - Travel agencies in Croatia are still waiting for a decision by the competent authorities regarding the extension of job-keeping measures for the first few months of 2022, which was announced as a possibility at the end of 2021, UHPA said on Wednesday.

President of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA) Tomislav Fain said that their business is still jeopardized, their activities are still doubtful due to the pandemic, and turnover last year was only at 65% of that in 2019.

"We still do not have precise information about whether the measures will be extended for agencies or not. We hope they will because Labour Minister (Josip) Aladrović announced their extension at the end of 2021 for the most vulnerable activities and agencies certainly are. The new wave of the pandemic spreading at the start of 2022 is additionally hampering our business, there is hardly any or no work at all," Fain told Hina.

UHPA appealed for job-keeping measures to be extended for travel agencies which until now had encompassed about 3,000 travel agents.

Travel agencies have registered huge losses and decreased revenue. Their business is constantly uncertain which is evident in the results of a survey in which UHPA members said their revenue in 2021 was 65% of that in 2019.

This has also been confirmed by Croatian Bureau of Statistics figures showing that in the first nine months of 2021, revenue decreased by 65% compared with the same period of 2019, and if 2020 is compared with 2019, the decrease in revenue was even higher, more than 80%, said Fain.

"Due to the poor situation, we appeal to the government, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy to extend job-keeping measures for travel agencies in the coming months, starting from January 2022. That is the only way agencies will manage to keep their workers and somehow prepare for the coming spring-summer season," said Fain.

Last year's good results in tourism occurred primarily due to the better epidemiological situation and by no means as a sign of recovery of organized tourism trends, and the continuation of job-keeping measures for travel agencies continues to be a key condition for their recovery and survival, concluded Fain.

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