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Ho Chi Minh city supports tourist firms to overcome Covid-19' impact

09:00 | 20/04/2020

Travel firms ask for support to overcome impacts of COVID-19 when 90 percent of tourist firms in Ho Chi Minh City have suspended operations due to the new coronavirus pandemic slashing revenues.

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The Saigon Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City pictured on April 3, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by VnExpress

Vnexpress reported that 90 percent of tourist firms in Ho Chi Minh City have suspended operations due to the new coronavirus pandemic slashing revenues.

An estimated 20,000 tourism employees, or 70 percent of the total, will remain off work without pay until the disease is contained.

Foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter fell 42 percent year-on-year to 1.3 million, while related revenues fell 26 percent to VND25.6 trillion ($1.1 billion), the lowest since 2016.

Revenues started falling in February and became severe in March when it fell 71 percent year-on-year to VND2.2 trillion ($94.83 million).

ho chi minh city supports tourist firms to overcome covid 19 impact
Photo: vnexpress

Hospitality businesses also suffer. A survey of 25 premium hotels and resorts show first quarter revenues fell 58 percent year-on-year.

The drop came as Vietnam limits travel to curb the spreading new coronavirus. All restaurants and tourist destinations in HCMC have been shut since the end of last month.

HCMC Tourism Department has proposed tax breaks and a delayed tax payment deadline to support businesses.

Deputy Director Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy said the department would deploy a new promotion strategy as soon as the pandemic is controlled to revive the industry.

HCMC welcomed 8.6 million international tourists last year, up 13.5 percent. Tourism revenues rose 10 percent to over VND140 trillion ($6 billion).

The information on vietnamplus said that The HCM City Department of Tourism said it has submitted to the State Bank of Vietnam a list of 31 travel and tourism firms that are seeking help to make it through the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HCM City Department of Tourism said it has submitted to the State Bank of Vietnam a list of 31 travel and tourism firms that are seeking help to make it through the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They want new loans, cuts in their bank loan interest rates and more time for repayment so that they could remain in business and keep their employees.

The tourism industry is in urgent need of Government assistance to retain its workforce and recover as soon as the pandemic ends, Tran The Dung, deputy director of Young Generation Travel, said.

ho chi minh city supports tourist firms to overcome covid 19 impact
A tourist attraction in HCM City has been closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: nld.com.vn)

Nguyen Quoc Ky, general director of Vietravel, said the industry, which has been accounting for more than 10-11 percent of the city’s economy for the last few years, needs a relief package from the Government.

It is now difficult for travel firms to get loans from banks since most of them have no assets to mortgage, he said.

Nguyen Thi Khanh, deputy head of the city Tourism Association, said the pandemic has crippled businesses and caused the loss of thousands of jobs.

Businesses in the city project losses of trillions of VND in the second quarter.

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