Introduce health vouchers to be paid for salary, insist on the tourism business. This became clear during the 5th Annual Congress of the Bulgarian Association of Balneology and Spa, which took place in the municipalities of Gotse Delchev and Garmen. The idea is for new health coupons to function in the same way that food vouchers are now being dealt. At a massive amount of 60 leva per month (approximately 30 Euro) will be collected 720 leva (approximately 360 Euro), which the workers will be able to use in certified centres for spa, wellness and balneotherapy. At present, the licensed ones in Bulgaria are 113 and 4 more have submitted applications and are considered by the Ministry of Tourism.
Annually, BGL 260 million is distributed to employees in the form of food vouchers, with the business demanding that the same amount is spent on health. This is also one of the ways to tackle the demographic problem, as health care will also ensure long-term employability, the industry said.
Employers will benefit from tax breaks and employees will be able to take care of their health, BUBSA President Sika Katsarova explained. This idea has been successfully reassured in Hungary for 10 years, with domestic tourists growing 200 %, thanks to measures taken by the state, she said. Last year, health vouchers have been introduced in Romania, with a 15% growth in local tourists.
The Ministry of Finance has already sent an opinion to the business asking for a mechanism for the introduction of vouchers, as well as a justification as to the benefits to the state budget of such a measure. Among the trends in the sector are the transformation of spa centers into health schools where people do not just relax and care for themselves but also learn new things, what mineral water to drink, how to move and care for themselves, so that they can take this new knowledge home at the end of their stay. This was explained by Dr Tanja Angelova, one of the main experts behind the development of the new 7 spa destinations of Bulgaria, known for her long-term work in the sector.