Travel organizations can borrow up to 50 million euros per company to pay out vouchers to consumers who saw their holiday go up in smoke. The European Commission (EC) has given permission for a so-called voucher bank where tour operators can borrow money, it was announced on Tuesday.
Previously, the validity of the vouchers was extended, because the travel organizations could not cough up the tens of millions in voucher credit. The vouchers have been issued by travel organizations affiliated with ANVR since March last year when travel had to be canceled due to the corona crisis.
The voucher fund contains 400 million euros. Tour operators can borrow a maximum of 80 percent of the amount of outstanding vouchers there, up to a maximum of 50 million euros per company. “The loans may only be used to repay corona vouchers to consumers,” emphasizes the EC.
Travel companies started issuing vouchers in mid-March last year, instead of reimbursing money for trips that were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Then the thought was that the vouchers could be redeemed for travel during the year. But the virus outbreak continued there for a longer period of time.
Validity extended for lack of money
As a result, little or no money was received by the travel companies, with the result that a number of them could not pay the vouchers to the victimized holidaymaker. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) had previously pledged a contribution to the voucher fund, but Brussels had to give its blessing.
Because this was delayed, the guarantee fund, which deals with the payment of the credits, decided to extend the validity of the vouchers by two months. TUI Nederland and Sunweb previously announced that they will pay out the vouchers from the expiry date. The number three in the Netherlands, Corendon, indicated that it would not be able to do this without support from the fund.