STA, 2 December - Given the poor epidemiological situation and the fact that almost half of the vouchers issued this year to help the hospitality, tourism, sports and culture sectors have not been cashed in yet, the government decided on Thursday to extend their validity until the end of June 2022.
The 2021 vouchers were introduced with an emergency law for tourism and associated sectors and awarded to all those who had a permanent residence in Slovenia on 30 June.
Adults received EUR 100 and under 18-year-olds EUR 50 for services offered by the hospitality, tourism, sport and culture sectors.
In line with the law, the vouchers were to expire on 31 December but the government was also given the option to extend their validity by six months.
The cabinet believes that the extension will lift the pressure off tourism and other facilities in the country in the final month of the year and thus contribute to reducing the number of infections, the Economy Ministry said after the government's session.
The extension of the vouchers will also boost demand for the various services in the first half of next year, it added.
The vouchers were activated on 16 July and until 22 November, little more than half of them were redeemed, while EUR 95.9 million in vouchers were still unused.
The government had also proposed the extension of last year's tourism vouchers until the end of June 2022 in a bill on additional measures for curbing the epidemic and its consequences, which is yet to be discussed by parliament.