Enterprise Estonia and MKM disagree on supporting Song Festival Grounds

The new lights at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds were turned on on Wednesday.
The new lights at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds were turned on on Wednesday. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

SA Tallinna Lauluväljak (Tallinn Song Festival Grounds) applied to the EAS to receive partial compensation of €50,000 for damages and lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but Enterprise Estonia did not approve the application. After challenging the decision, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MKM) approved the support.

The festival grounds applied for support through the Minister of Foreign Trade and IT's measures to entrepreneurs in the tourism sector. The measure is meant to partially compensate damages and loss of income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Enterprise Estonia refused to pay aid because visitations to the grounds' lighthouse do not meet the requirements set for tourist attractions. Visitors have to call a number on the lighthouse's door, after which an employee will come and greet them.

Enterprise Estonia answered the proposal: "The attraction does not offer services (without prior reservation) at the location with entry by ticket."

The festival grounds said the statement is incorrect because tickets have always been sold for visitations to the lighthouse and no prior reservation is necessary. They emphasized that after calling the number on the door, an employee would come in a minute or two.

Representatives for the festival grounds wrote: "Enterprise Estonia has based their decision on incorrect facts and has failed to explain the important details regarding the decision."

They also emphasized tourist attractions at the grounds do not end with the lighthouse because the entire festival ground is an attraction.

Additionally, in May, only five to ten people visited the lighthouse daily, so MKM considers the solution set up to be reasonable. MKM brings out in their response that only one or fewer persons visits the lighthouse hourly and therefore there is no need for a ticket seller to be there at all times.

MKM found Enterprise Estonia had interpreted the concept of tourist attractions too narrowly and therefore satisfied the challenge and issued for the support of €50,000 to be given.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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