HCM City: 90 percent of small travel firms suspend operations hinh anh 1Foreign tourists in HCM City. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - More than 20,000 staff at hotels and tourist accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City were laid off or put on unpaid leave in the first quarter of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released by the municipal Department of Tourism on April 13.

Nearly 7,700 staff or 27 percent of 28,000 workers at hotels and tourist accommodations in the city are working with reduction in working time, the report showed.

Hotels and tourist accommodations reported a year-on-year decline of 58 percent in turnover in the first quarter of the year.

Many travel firms have put most employees on leave without pay until the pandemic ends as their operations remain suspended.

Travel firms have seen tourist numbers and revenues plummet by 50-60 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, and some firms reported a 95-100 percent drop in tourist numbers and revenues.

In the first quarter of the year, 90 percent of more than 1,000 small and medium-sized travel firms suspended operations as the coronavirus shut down travel.

Large firms have operated with only a few employees on the job and have not operated trips.

In the first quarter of the year, the city saw a year-on-year fall of 42 percent in overseas tourists and 26 percent in turnover.  

HCM City’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs plans to spend 236 billion VND (10 million USD) on relief payments for 47,000 workers who have been laid off and teachers and childcare workers at private nurseries and pre-schools that were closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initial statistics compiled by the department showed that as of April 13, nearly 47,000 workers in the city had been laid off as enterprises cut capacity or suspended operations, including 840 workers at industrial parks and export processing zones, 1,970 workers at HCM City High-tech Park, and 44,000 workers at enterprises operating in 24 districts.

A total of 31,500 teachers and childcare workers went on leave without pay due to closures of private nurseries and pre-schools.

Le Minh Tan, director of the department, said that local authorities would continue to update the list of unemployed workers to offer financial relief.

The unemployed will receive monthly relief payments of 1 million VND (42 USD) per person for three months, starting in April, Tan said.

Around 3.2 million workers are employed by 415,000 enterprises in the city./.