bulgaria
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A further 25.6 mln euro in EU support

Bulgaria-based tour operators and travel agents will receive an additional 50 million levs ($30.8 million/25.6 million euro) in EU funds to cope with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism ministry said.

Only companies with no tax arrears would be eligible for the grants, to be provided under EU’s operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness 2014-2020, the tourism ministry said in a statement earlier this week.

The distribution of financial support will be based on the applicant’s turnover in 2019.

Local companies active in tourism have so far received over 48 million levs in financing under EU’s operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness 2014-2020, tourism minister Mariyana Nikolova said in the statement.

A full lockdown in Bulgaria’s winter resorts would lead to losses of over 1 billion levs for the sector during the 2020/2021 winter season, Nikolova said in a video file published on the website of local television NOVA last week.

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In October, the tourism ministry said that Bulgaria’s tour operators and travel agencies will be granted some 10 million levs under EU’s operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness 2014-2020 to tackle the coronavirus crisis. The aim of the scheme, to be active within a period of 18 months, is to provide working capital to Bulgarian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises active in the respective fields, the ministry said back then.