Serbian hotels will have to seek help from the state again

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About 6,300 workers have left hotels in Serbia, they will have to import labor, and they currently have few guests, according to the Association of Hotel and Catering Industry of Serbia (HORES). The association announced that it would ask the government for new state aid for hotels, because their occupancy is not better even at destinations such as Vrnjacka Banja or Zlatobor.
“We will ask for help for the first five months of this year in the same amount that the hotels received last year and this year, ie 350 euros per bed and 150 euros per room,” said the director of HORES, Georgi Genov.
He explains that the Government of Serbia will be asked to continue helping for hotels whose turnover is less than 30% in relation to the period before the pandemic.
Genov added that hotels will find it difficult to do business, as well as that this is already happening to some, because the number of guests is currently small. Due to the lack of workers who left the hotel sector, the management of a hotel in a well-known tourist destination in Serbia is negotiating the “import” of hotel workers from Bangladesh.
HORES emphasizes that the polls on hotel occupancy during May not only show their current low occupancy, but also that the meeting will not improve during the summer, despite the pandemic calming down.
According to a recent survey conducted by HORES, the average occupancy rate of 35 hotels in Belgrade on May 21, 2021 was 32 percent, and the balance of confirmed reservations on that day for June is 8.7 percent, for July 18.7 percent and for August 4.8 percent.
In four hotels on Kopaonik, the average occupancy was 0.5 percent, and the balance of confirmed reservations was five percent, for July 8.7 percent and for August 12.5 percent.
Hotel occupancy is not better even in well-known destinations such as Vrnjacka Banja or Zlatibor, where many citizens rested during the pandemic.
In eight hotels on Zlatibor, the average occupancy on May 21 was 38.8 percent, and the balance of confirmed reservations for June was 11.1 percent, while there were none for July and August.
Hoteliers in urban areas received 350 euros per bed and 150 per room from the third package of state aid for mitigating the consequences of the pandemic this year, as last year, as well as another minimum for employees, in addition to the three halves received by other employers.
Genov said that the financial situation of hotels in the interior is even more difficult and that out of a total of 445 hotels in Serbia, 290 are working, and that 45 missed the opportunity to ask for state help.
In Serbia, less than 30 percent of hotels were opened in June last year, and the occupancy rate was only 10.79 percent due to the pandemic, Kamatica reports.