Tourism sector in critical condition, in need of support from Gov’t hinh anh 1Tourism sector in critical condition due to COVID-19 (Photo: Vietnam+)

Hanoi (VNA) - Having been hit by COVID-19 for three times, domestic tourism firms were just picking themselves back up yet another outbreak occurs. Now, they are in serious trouble.

In order to survive this time, tourism firms have tried many ways, from switching their business models to lying off their staff.

Nguyen Tien Dat, Chief Executive Officer of AZA Travel revealed around 95% tourism firms had “died” in three previous outbreaks in Vietnam, meaning a huge number of employees in this sector strive for hanging in with different jobs to make ends meet. Now that the fourth outbreak occurs right in the summer, the peak season of tourism, the firms and employees have collapsed.

Tourism sector in critical condition, in need of support from Gov’t hinh anh 2Deserted scene in Noi Bai international airport as the fourth COVID-19 outbreak hits Vietnam (Photo: Vietnam+)

“In fact, recommendations for tourism sector and its firms and people working in the green economy have been discussed and revised through previous outbreaks. Some policies still have drawbacks so tourism firms and their staff have not received significant assistance. However, we understand that the Government has so many things to worry now,” said Dat.

Sharing on how to help tourism firms surmount the difficulties brought by the pandemic, CEO of VietSense Travel Nguyen Van Tai suggested the Government assign relevant ministries and agencies to adjust criteria for enterprises entitled to the bailout package worth 62 trillion VND of the government so that tourism firms can fit them; or give them access to preferential loans.

Insiders also suggest the Government ‘guarantee’ tourism firms’ loans by reviewing their operation, brand names and current economic contracts as their collaterals for borrowing money.

CEO of tourism firms also called on the Government to support people working in the tourism industry, including reducing or extending payment deadline of their social, health, retirement and unemployment insurance fees based on their actual income, etc.

CEO of VietSense Travel Nguyen Van Tai said “If they (people working in tourism sector) can find a job that suits them and offers them higher income, they will never return to the tourism sector. It means there will be a serious case of brain drain here. So once the COVID-19 pandemic is put under control, tourism firms may face a shortage of human resources.”

Tourism sector in critical condition, in need of support from Gov’t hinh anh 3Son Doong, Vietnam's renowned destination in Quang Binh province (Vietnam+)

Tourism firms long for supports from the Government

Given the fourth outbreak of COVID-19, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said the first and foremost task that tourism firms, especially those in hospitality, must do are restructuring their organisation and operation and come up with proper solutions in human resources management.

He said though understanding challenges facing tourism firms and their employees, concentrating resources to recuperate the green economy right now is a “very difficult” task. 

“The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is cooperating with the Association of Tourism to propose a plan to support the firms for submission to the Government. In fact, the State’s resources cannot be ready to support the tourism sector right away. Instead, the Government has been studying a different approach on assisting the firms by lowering land-use tax and electricity bill,” said Minister Hung.

Tourism sector in critical condition, in need of support from Gov’t hinh anh 4Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung (Photo: Xuan Mai/Vietnam+)

Regarding long-term policies, the Minister said his Ministry needed to listen to the business community and State agencies to come up with an appropriate policy that suits the needs of the enterprises and ensure balance between different economic sectors.

As a direct management unit, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism stressed that tourism firms should strive for retaining their human resources for further training to improve their quality while waiting for assistance policies from the Government.

Tourism enterprises voiced their expectation that the Government, relevant ministries and agencies and the whole community to join hands in containing the spread of COVID-19 like they did in previous outbreaks in order to resume people’s life and tourism activities as normal. Once the pandemic is controlled, people will travel again and the tourism sector will be revived, they explained./.