COVID-19: Tourists apply for EUR 44 mln in refunds for cancelled trips

Polish Development, Labour and Technology ministry announced that more than 66,000 applications for refunds worth about PLN 205 mln (EUR 44.3 mln) for cancelled trips were submitted by tourists to the Insurance Warranty Fund (UFG).

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The ministry added that on top of that nearly 200 tour operators submitted more than 2,000 applications of travel agencies concerning 70,000 travellers which are worth around PLN 210 mln (EUR 45.3 mln).

All those motions were submitted in line with the so-called “Tourist Shield”, the 5.0 stimulus package. “The Tourist Shield which has been in force since October introduced a number of solutions beneficial for the tourist sector. Moreover, also in October, a law allowing the furlough payment for tourist agencies came into force,” Jarosław Gowin, a deputy PM and Development, Labour and Technology minister said.

As a part of the stimulus package the Tourist Refund Fund has been created which allows both tourists and tour operators to apply for refund of the money paid for the trips that have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law also regulates the Tourist Support Fund, which will support tourism operators in the future crisis situations similar to the current one.

“We are in constant contact with the tourism sector. We are aware that this is one of the trades that are the most affected by the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and we offer additional forms of support from the state,” Mr Gowin added.

The ministry also reported that since October 15, the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) has remitted more than PLN 23 mln (EUR 4.97 mln) contributions and paid furlough payments worth PLN 3.5 mln (EUR 760,000), based on the Tourist Shield.

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