29 hotel, restaurant and tourism associations in Bulgaria plan national protests

Twenty-nine hotel and restaurant and tourism associations in Bulgaria say that they will hold a national protest in front of Parliament in Sofia on May 18 to press various demands in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.

Should their demands not be met, they will hold protests outside Parliament every subsequent Monday, organisers say.

Some of the demands pre-date the Covid-19 crisis while others seek steps to boost the recovery of the sector, which the organisers say faces bankruptcy and the loss of livelihoods of 750 000 people in Bulgaria connected to the sector, including employees and their families.

The organisers want value-added tax on basic foodstuffs and on the tourism sector, including restaurants and hotels, cut to five per cent from July 1 this year until the end of 2021. After that, VAT should be fixed at nine per cent, they say.

They want the postponement of the entry into force of amendments to Regulation H-18 for a year to July 1 2021. The regulation governs fiscal reporting via cash registers. During this time, representatives of the associations should take part in a working group to rewrite the amendments, the organisers say.

They want an anti-crisis programme for the recovery of the tourism industry in Bulgaria, including the setting up of working group, financial measures such as loans and grants, and a state subsidy of 60 per cent of the pay of employees of SMEs that had been closed by order of the Minister of Health during the State of Emergency.

They are also demanding a six-month postponement of payments of VAT and local fees and taxes for SMEs in the tourism sector.

Further, they want the requirement that a business not have liabilities to the state when applying for the state payroll subsidy.

They also want an advertising campaign to promote Bulgaria as a tourism destination.

The organisers say that if their demands are met, they will work to preserve jobs and gradually increase pay in the sector, and the members of the associations will work actively against unfair competition in the sector.

The organisers include the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Association of Restaurants in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Association of Restaurants, Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agents, National Association of Spa and Wellness Tourism, Association of Bulgarian Tour Guides, and several hotel, restaurant and tourism associations in various parts of Bulgaria, including Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bansko.

(Photo via pikist.com)

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