The government is cutting holiday vouchers / tickets in 2021.

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This year, the Romanian government wants to reduce the pressure on the state budget and is looking for solutions to save money. It turned out, miraculously, that public servants benefit from dozens of unjustified increases. Approximately 7 types of bonuses are granted in 50 areas of activity, many of them pointless. So a government ordinance is being prepared by which many bonuses will be eliminated or their amount will be reduced. The problem is that in addition to bonuses holiday vouchers are targeted and grants for student transportation.

Mr. Florin Cîţu mentioned that it would be possible that the holiday tickets for 2021 will no longer be granted, as there is the possibility that those from 2019 and 2020 could be used. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly limited and restricted travel even in the country. There are some signals in the market that there are still enough unconsumed vouchers that can still be used.

Without looking in depth at the situation, many of the information mentioned above coming from sources, public servants, students and those working in the tourism area have harshly criticized these decisions.

It is difficult to deprive people of some benefits, even if many no longer make sense. It doesn't matter if those benefits are worthwhile or unjustified, people are defending their interests and it is not to be condemned. We just want to live well, to have benefits and the remuneration given on merit.

Vouchers / holiday vouchers - pros or cons?

In a sad period, ruled by COVID-19, tourism, HoReCa and transport were severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In a difficult time for many businesses in these sectors, holiday vouchers / vouchers were an "oxygen mouth".

Looking warmly at the situation, the elimination of vouchers and holiday vouchers in 2021 can be a problem for Romanian tourism. We can say that it is a tragedy in the context in which many hotels operated at the limit of damage and it is not known how many more they will be able to withstand another year in these difficult conditions due to the pandemic.

Looking coldly at this situation, the elimination of holiday vouchers for 2021 brings a saving to the state budget of 1.2 - 1.5 billion lei, a lot of money. They do not necessarily remain in the state treasury, but the state will no longer borrow to cover this expense.

The state budget consists largely of taxes and duties collected from the private sector and from the population. Romania produces too little and the revenues from state-administered sources are insufficient. However, the pressure on the budget is very high, there are many increases in salaries and bonuses, allowances, many electoral alms that must be settled in previous years. The deficit will be quite high in 2021 as well.

There is the possibility to use the vouchers from 2019 and 2020

However, there is the possibility to use the vouchers from 2019 and 2020, and here it must be clearly seen how many are still unused and what would be the amount to be settled after their use. In the context in which the state has not done much for the tourism industry in Romania, these vouchers can play the role of indirect aid. So the tragedy I mentioned above may not be so big this year. From 2022, it remains to be seen what will be.

And if we keep talking about holiday tickets and vouchers, I think that the law must be amended and adapted to be a real help for Romanian tourism. In other words, they should be introduced in the private sector in a form similar to meal vouchers.

I know that there are many corporations that reward their employees with such bonuses, but it is not for everyone and then this professional “discrimination” appears, which exists between public employees and the private sector. Either tickets are given to all Romanians and then we will have mass tourism in Romania, as in the past, or they are given on the level of professional performance, on well-defined criteria, etc. and then it benefits certain people, perhaps the most deserving.

To make a holiday voucher law valid for everyone, and for everyone to be able to choose between money and vouchers based on the vacation period granted by law. And then there's the next question. How much do people want these tickets at the expense of money? How much did these holiday vouchers help Romanian tourism? Have the services, accommodation conditions, packages been improved?

The law on holiday vouchers must be amended.

The law on holiday vouchers must be amended. Maybe the period of use should be limited, maybe it's good to be used at the end of the season and not at the peak of the season. Here is another issue related to the influence of prices. Due to holiday vouchers, prices have risen and many in the private sector can no longer afford to travel to Romania. It is not surprising that Turkey, Greece or Bulgaria are in the top of Romanians' preferences as tourist destinations.

And as a supplement, not all accommodation units accepted holiday vouchers, here being the issue of settlements, which were often made 3 months after using the holiday vouchers. There are some other aspects related to the way of use, the fact that most public servants were looking to fit in these vouchers for a holiday in Romania. In other words, all budget holders were entitled to a free vacation in Romania, but here's another story.

I would bet that, in 2021, weekend tourism will work as well as in previous years, that people will travel even if they do not have holiday tickets, especially in the current context when travel restrictions are more drastic. And the money will circulate faster, without delays in settlements.

In conclusion, YES, holiday vouchers are good, but the law needs to be changed. The fact that there are chances that they will NOT be granted in 2021, it is debatable how much good or much bad this measure will produce. Let's take a look abroad and see how it is elsewhere, what the law of these tickets is like, how it is implemented in other richer or poorer countries like Romania. We can certainly adapt it much better than it is now. Stand crooked and judge right!

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