Tourism could account for 10% of GDP if we manage it properly – state tourism agency head
Head of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine Maryana Oleskiv has said that the tourism sector could account for up to 10% of GDP, if properly managed.
"It is important that the state leadership has an understanding of the importance of developing tourism, which has huge potential, and which can reach up to 10% of GDP if managed properly," she said in an exclusive interview to Interfax-Ukraine.
According to her, at the moment, the agency's team is being formed. The agency should be fully operational in May.
"I am engaged in consolidating the efforts of representatives of the industry, central and regional authorities, experts, our international partners, so that we work in the same way. Common developments with the tourism business are very important, how to get out of the crisis, this applies, in particular, to legislative changes. At the same time, we look and how to move on. We hold meetings between hoteliers, tour operators, work with many ministries and regions to develop a joint strategy to form a travel culture among Ukrainians in Ukraine," she said.
Oleskiv believes that, first of all, it is necessary to support tourism enterprises from bankruptcies as a result of a pandemic, since the industry actually stopped working.
In this connection, she emphasized the importance of adopting bill No. 3377.
"We took into account both world experience and proposals from industry representatives. Its adoption is very important, especially with regard to the part on canceling the payment of Single Social Contribution (SSC) for employees. Today, many enterprises still keep people at the expense of voluntary leave, but if the situation is with the disease if it doesn't improve, then business owners will be forced to carry out staff reductions. We must support people," she added.
In addition, she drew attention to the importance of the paragraph of the draft law on zero VAT for tourism services by the end of 2020, which would reduce the cost of production and make travel more accessible for Ukrainians.
"It is also a task to create additional opportunities for Ukrainians to rest after the end of restrictive measures – people also lost a lot of money. Now supporting domestic tourism is the mainstream for all countries," she said.
As reported, on April 13, the Verkhovna Rada adopted at the final stage law No. 3279-d amending the state budget for 2020, taking into account the proposals of the budget committee and technical and legal amendments, increasing the state budget deficit from 2.1% to 7.5% of GDP due to corona-crisis.
In particular, these changes for the current year completely abolished financing for the development of tourism potential of Ukraine, which amounted to UAH 240 million.