Serbia’s hotel industry will lose about EUR 230 mln in the period from March 12 to June 30 due to social distancing mandates. The loss of Belgrade hotels will be about EUR 130 mln, Poslovni Dnevnik reports.

Georgi Genov, director of the Serbian Business Association of the Hotel and Restaurant Industry (HORES), told Beta that 2,130,000 overnights were canceled in hotels during the period, of which 933,000 were to be spent in Belgrade.

“There will be no foreign guests in tourism until a vaccine is found, so hoteliers will have to turn to domestic guests,” Genov explained. According to him, general measures of support to the economy will not be enough to recover hotels and restaurants from the crisis.

Georgi Genov added that there are 380 hotels operating in Serbia,`including 110 in Belgrade, with a total of 18,000 rooms, employing about 14,500 part-time workers and 5,000 full-time workers.

The hoteliers suggested, among other things, that the state extend support for the payment of salaries for an additional three months and delay the repayment of loans taken by almost everyone for hotel renovations. Among the suggestions is that property taxes are not paid when the hotel is not working, which is now a heavy burden. “We also demanded that the VAT on food in hotels be reduced from 20 to 10 pct,” Genov said.