A rush to spend €50 voucher before deadline

130,900 vouchers worth €50 for a night in a hotel were used out of the 700,000 distributed to residents and border workers. (Photos: Maison Moderne/Archives. Editing: Maison Moderne)

130,900 vouchers worth €50 for a night in a hotel were used out of the 700,000 distributed to residents and border workers. (Photos: Maison Moderne/Archives. Editing: Maison Moderne)

With 16 days left before the 15 September deadline, less than 20% of the vouchers for one night's stay have been used in the Grand Duchy. The imminent deadline  is now boosting the number of bookings in some establishments. The ministry of tourism is currently not planning a third extension.

Residents and workers will have had more than a year to use the €50 voucher in Luxembourg hotels. 700,000 vouchers were distributed July 2020 with the aim of boosting local tourism, which had been severely affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

Initially valid until the end of 2020, the deadline was first extended until 18 April 2021. By 17 March, only 107,198 vouchers had been used in the country's establishments. As a result, the ministry of tourism, which was behind the initiative, announced a new extension until 15 September.

Since then, about 23,702 people have used their vouchers and as of 30 August 2021, a total of 130,900 vouchers had been used, according to the ministry of tourism. This represents just 18.7% of the total distributed.

Mixed effect

The rush is being felt in some tourist establishments. "We had a lot of 'Vakanz Doheem' this summer. People are taking advantage of their vouchers until the last minute. I had one again this morning (on 27 August)", says Francine Scheikin, at the reception of the Péitche Lauer hotel and ecolodges, or "MushRooms", in Useldange. “We are facing a real wave of vouchers at the moment, but it is mainly due to the fact that soon they will no longer be valid. People are waking up, they want to use it before I5 September. Others are also starting to ask us if they can use it after that date,” says the hotel at the Domain Thermal in Mondorf-les-Bains.

“We still receive vouchers, but it has become rare. Most of the time it's during the weekend. But we get far fewer than in the beginning," says the Graace Hotel in Luxembourg City, 

The question of extension

So will the €50 voucher be extended again for the 569,100 latecomers? "There will certainly not be an extension," says the ministry of tourism, even if a reversal of that stance has occurred quickly on past occasions. On 17 March, it confirmed the 18 April deadline, only to reverse its decision and announce the extension seven days later. The first extension was announced about 13 days before the deadline and the second about 25 days before.

In the meantime, if you have misplaced your voucher, all is not lost: just send an e-mail to [email protected] indicating your first name, surname and registration number to receive a duplicate.

This article was originally published in French on Paperjam and has been translated and edited for Delano.