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TourMin Trif: Holiday vouchers bring to light much of economy on black market; licensing applications, up 60pct

Inquam Photos / Adel_Al-Haddad
bogdan trif

Holiday vouchers have brought to light a large part of the economy that was functioning on the black market, given that last year the number of operators who submitted applications for licenses at the Ministry of Tourism increased by 60 percent and in this year's first quarter there has been an advance of about 65 percent, Tourism Minister Bogdan Trif maintains.

"The measure of granting holiday vouchers has brought much of the black market economy to light, because these vouchers can only be granted and taken over by licensed operators authorized by the Ministry of Tourism. In 2018, we had an increase of almost 60 percent of those who applied for licenses at the Ministry of Tourism and in the first quarter of 2019 we have an increase of nearly 65 percent as compared to 2018," Tourism Minister Sunday said at private broadcaster Digi24.

Trif however specified that this measure is not a subsidy but prompted Romanians to spend their holiday in the country. He also pointed out that the 1450 lei amount is only enough for two or three days at the Romanian seaside but underlined that the money is spent in Romania, not outside the country.

The year 2018 was the first time when holiday vouchers were granted and almost 1.2 million Romanians benefited from them.

"We infused nearly 400 million euro in this sector. Tourism operators have asked us not to give up this measure, which is why we will still maintain it in 2019 and 2020. We are even thinking about improving it in the next years," Bogdan Trif said.

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