SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 5 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria-based tour operators and travel agencies will be granted some 10 million levs ($6.0 million/5.1 million euro) in EU funds to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on their business, the tourism ministry said. 

Local tour operators and travel agents will be able to apply for financial support under EU’s operational programme Innovations and Competitiveness 2014-2020 in a two weeks’ time, the ministry, which is a direct beneficiary of the programme, said in a statement on Friday.

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 entreprises active in the respective fields.

In July, the tourism ministry said that the European Commission approved Bulgaria’s plans to subsidise charter flights to the country in a bid to support its tourism sector in light of the pandemic. Bulgaria will provide subsidies of 35 euro ($41.1) per seat for flights with a capacity of at least 100 seats by the end of 2020, as foreign travel agents can also benefit from the financial aid.

Earlier this year, the tourism ministry said that it expects a decrease of over 50% year-on-year in tourism revenue this year due to the coronavirus pandemic under its most pessimistic scenario.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)

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