The subject of today's press conference, held by the Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro, Mr Genci Nimanbegu, was the presentation of measures, which, according to him, must be imposed to support tourism, more precisely - private accommodation, hotel-managers and caterers, and of course citizens. He stressed that this was important in order to overcome the already visible crisis in 2020, counting upon the next tourist season in 2021 as well.
- Measures of the third economic package must clearly be continued with and must play a proactive role, in terms of helping the economy and citizens of Montenegro, the tourism sector will suffer the most, which is inevitable and to this end – it must be made possible for the aforementioned to overcome this year, Vice President Genci Nimanbegu said.
When it comes to tourism, which is especially endangered, provision of conditions is necessary in order to welcome the next year in full capacity, Vice President Nimanbegu emphasised.
Vice President Nimanbegu called on the Government of Montenegro and the National Coordination Body, as well as commercial banks, to work on an urgent scale on the activities that include - assistance to those providing private accommodation services, hotel-managers and caterers. He also stresses the importance of the aspect of opening borders.
The following is the complete statement by Vice President Nimanbegu issued today:
- I would like to draw attention to the need to help, and that is why we suggest that the third package of economic measures include assistance to private tourist accommodation providers, in providing loans with a low interest rate or even interest-free ones. Private accommodation providers would be the beneficiaries (those registered), and the amount of the loan would depend on the landlords' assessment of the funds they need as a family for this year. The average monthly salary in Montenegro would serve as the basis, i.e. in the amount ranging from EUR 5,000 to 6,000 per family.
The repayment period of that loan would be 5-7 years with a one-year grace period. Thus, the state, and even commercial banks, would express concern for citizens – the banks their concern for customers, which would allow the letter to power through this year without much stress.
The second segment of assistance includes registered hotels and other caterers who, according to similar standards, as landlords, would be able to obtain funds for their families, and income that they are going to lack this year. In this way, these tourist entities would welcome and prepare for the next tourist season.
Hotel-managers and caterers must be already informed about the fact that with the third package of measures they will be assisted with in the amount that entails minimum wages for June of the current year, as it was for April and May 2020, being aware that the number of employees have already increased significantly compared to the pre-season period.
In addition, other citizens, especially those who with seasonal jobs or economic activities, could have access to these "corona loans" which would be an expression of the measure of the state and banks to preserve the economic essence of their citizens.
The third aspect is opening of borders as soon as possible, and with clear measures to maintain physical distance.
The opening of borders should be considered as early as of 1 July, and the example of Croatia, where there already have been over 350 thousand tourists, speaks in favour of this fact.
Dear citizens and the media, the research on tourist arrivals and overnight stays conducted by MONSTAT shows that the so-called individual, "private accommodation" hosted 1,352.028 or 51% of tourists, and accounted for 68% or 9,775.133 overnight stays, of the total tourist traffic for 2019, and therefore, although private activity, it makes up a significant part of our tourism economy, and in some municipalities the primary economic activity from which the majority of citizens of those municipalities make their living. We witness the situation with the virus to becoming more complicated, and the tourist economy cannot hold high expectations, and that is why I appeal to the authorities to provide assistance for individual private accommodation, apart from the collective accommodation, as part of the new economic measures of the Government and the National Coordination Body.
Individual private accommodation is mostly provided by the citizens of Montenegro, which is a family business and the only activity that helps support their families during the remaining nine months and the off-season period.
Certainly, the economic measures in the third package must be planned for all other tourist businessmen, caterers, beach leaseholders, organisers of tourist tours, tourist agencies and guides, as well as other businessmen whose activity is related to the tourist economy.
In recent days, we have noticed the appeal of tourist entities and organisations for the Government to try and provide help for the tourist season as much as possible, and give priority and importance to the domestic, i.e. local tourism, as well as tourists from the region. I want to uphold their appeal, that the Government, respecting health measures, finds a way to open the borders and allow unhindered entry and stay of people from the countries of the region, in order for the tourism industry to save the tourist season to the extent possible", Vice President Nimanbegu said at today’s press conference.