Reps of Georgian Hospitality Sector to Hold a Press Conference Near Chancellery

On Wednesday, December 2, at 11:30, representatives of the Georgian hospitality industry will hold a press conference next to the Chancellery of the Government of Georgia, to inform the media and public about the joint plan developed by restaurants, cafes and other food establishments who seek to save the industry.

The official statement that they jointly address to the government starts out with a reminder that in the spring of 2020, under strict quarantine conditions, Georgia’s hospitality industry received the hardest blow. Following the government’s decision of November 26, 2020, to leave only delivery services available for food outlets and restaurants, the industry has been largely forced to suspend operations altogether because of the inability of the delivery service to cover the necessary expenses.

The statement also touches on the attitude of banks towards the industry and the people working in it; for such people, in fact, taking a loan has become almost impossible, which is another important hindrance for the continuation of adequate economic activity.

The proposal of the initiative group regarding a meeting with Giorgi Gakharia, aims to outline the needs that need urgent addressing if we are to save the industry, because otherwise, according to the forecast of specialists, 80% of food outlets in Georgia will not be able to survive the crisis.

This will in the long run create an overall unfavorable climate for tourism development in the country. All the spheres adjacent to the hospitality industry will also suffer, and such are too many.

Based on the aspects mentioned above, the concrete proposals developed by the initiative group include:

1)      The state to compensate 50% of the salaries for hospitality sector employees;

2)      The state to become a guarantor for the financial institutions in order to provide long-term low-interest loans to legal entities and individuals working in the sector, as well as to food establishments, and for the two-month lockdown period to ensure interest-free loans. This will help amass resources for salary compensation;

3)      The state to reduce the VAT rate for the hospitality industry for a year;

4)      The state to ensure a grace period for legal entities working in the field for all kinds of utility payments;

5)      The state to allow the industry to benefit from the income tax subsidy program for another year.

The authors of the initiative believe that non-compliance with these points will cause irreparable damage to Georgia’s hospitality industry; the majority of the establishments will simply not survive. This is the subject and aim of the statement, to call on the government to take urgent and effective action.

02 December 2020 10:21