Serbia’s New Hotel Investment Incentives: Boosting Tourism in Spas and Belgrade
Introduction to Serbia’s Hotel Sector Stimulus
The Serbian Government has refreshed its guidelines for hotel sector incentives, focusing on spa and climate areas and the Belgrade region. This amendment promises 20% assistance for new constructions and expansions in these zones.
Eligibility and Criteria for Support
In spa and climate locations, projects must be worth at least €2 million and create a minimum of 30 permanent jobs. In Belgrade, support covers three-star or higher hotels with at least 50 units and a minimum €5 million investment, with reduced criteria for reconstructions.
Funding Provisions and Requirements
Hoteliers must ensure at least 25% of justified expenses from their own or other non-state sources. This clause ensures significant private investment alongside governmental support.
Application Deadlines and Procedures
Applications are open until the end of 2024. In spa areas, project completion and employment targets must be met within three years, extendable to five or even ten years for significant projects. For Belgrade, the timeframe is two years, extendable till the end of 2026.
The Strategic Importance of the New Regulations
Georgi Genov, President of the Serbian Hotel and Catering Association, highlights the importance of these incentives, especially considering the upcoming EXPO 2027 in Belgrade, noting that the final investment decisions rest with the investors.
Continuation of State Support for Tourism Infrastructure
These changes represent a continuation of the state’s support for developing tourism infrastructure, particularly in spa and climate locations, already bolstered by similar past projects.
Serbia’s updated hotel investment incentives mark a strategic move to enhance tourism infrastructure, particularly in light of the forthcoming EXPO 2027. With considerable support for investors, the country is poised to significantly boost its hospitality sector, aligning with its growing reputation as a diverse and attractive tourist destination.