Around 90%-95% of travel companies in HCM City have suspended operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, only 5% of travel firms in HCM City are still operational to settle debts with their partners and customers. Their staff have to work online at home on rotation without salary.
Since the pandemic broke out in the central city of Danang on July 25, many hotel bookings for August have been cancelled. Most contracts to hire rooms for wedding parties in HCM City larger than 30 people have been in the same boat.
At present, the room occupancy of HCM City’s hotels is merely 5%, with up to 61% of local hotel staff temporarily unemployed.
Meanwhile, travel firms face barriers to access bank loans as the tourism sector is seen as a risk.
To date, staff at most travel firms have not yet received the subsidy from the government’s VND62 trillion (USD2.6 billion) package for Covid-19 crisis victims due to administrative procedures.
The HCM City Department of Tourism has proposed two scenarios to support local travel firms in the coming time.
In the first scenario, in a case where the pandemic is controlled in Vietnam by September this year, the department will continue implementing the domestic tourism programme.
In the second worst-case scenario, if the pandemic lasts until the end of the fourth quarter of this year, the city will focus on restructuring the tourism sector, including the launch of new products to attract tourists when the pandemic is brought under control. The city will also assist travel companies in training staff.
This article was originally published in Dtinews & Nguoilaodong