Why are people getting “free money” to go on vacation?
Slovenia is attempting to restart its tourism industry by spending up to €345 million on tourist vouchers (turistični boni) for all permanent residents, with people being encouraged to have a domestic vocation and do their patriotic duty by then going out and enjoying meals, activities and so on to make up for the expected loss in foreign visitors.
How much will I get?
All permanent residents of Slovenia aged 18 and over in 2020, including foreigners with that status as of 13 March 2020 and those whose 18th birthdays are later this year, will a get €200 tourist voucher. Those under 18 will get €50.
When can I use the money?
The vouchers can be used from today, 19 June, until the end of the year. If you haven’t used the money by 31 December, then you’ll lose it, with the government expecting around €100 million will remain unclaimed.
How can I get my voucher?
The vouchers are not actual pieces of paper, but will be paid to the place you book accommodation based on your tax number and identification details (perhaps only the latter, but we recommend having your tax number with you, if an adult, to avoid disappointent), which you’ll need to show, along with completing a form, at the reception desk. But note that providers do not have to accept the vouchers – so check before making a booking.
Do I need to spend all €200 at once?
No, you can use the money in installments, and you can check your balance online - find out how here.
Where can I spend the money
In short, any registered tourist facility that offers accommodation, with or without breakfast, such as hotels, self-catering units, lodges, tourism farms, private homes (aka Airbnb), mountain huts, camps and other facilities.
What if I don’t want to travel?
Then you can transfer the money to a relative within the immediate family, with siblings and cousins excluded, with more details here. Note that the entire amount must be transferred at one time.
I run an accomodation provider – when will I get paid?
FURS – the tax office – should pay you within 30 days of the guest checking in and using a voucher.
What about fraud?
If you violate the rules on transferring your voucher to another person then there are fines from €200 to €600. If a tourist provider commits fraud, the fines are from €3000 to 40,000 – see here.
Anything else I should know?
Yes, the provider will need internet access to validate your voucher at the reception desk. While this shouldn’t be a problem with most places, mountain huts may have unreliable connections. In which case the guest will need to pay, get a receipt, and then apply fro a refund from FURS within three days of checking out. The refund should then be delivered within 30 days.
Can I bring a guest?
Yes, but the person with the voucher will need to be traveling with the guest and stay overnight at the same place.