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Deputy PM says tourism firms need support amid pandemic

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam directed ministries and sectors to promptly reduce difficulties for tourism businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam directed relevant ministries and sectors to promptly reduce difficulties for businesses operating in the tourism sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. VNA/VNS photo Pham Kien

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has issued many policies to support businesses to overcome difficulties and maintain operations such as reducing VAT, excise tax and land rent, as well as extending tax payment deadlines.

Despite the support policies, as one of the hardest-hit industries, tourism businesses including mainly small and medium-sized ones, are still facing many difficulties due to the pandemic.

Bodies including the Vietnam Tourism Association and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have asked Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to extend the support policies mentioned above.

Deputy Prime Minister Dam assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to work with ministries and agencies to carefully consider the proposals and request initiatives, policies and urgent solutions to remove difficulties caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry.

The proposals were compiled and sent to the PM in the second quarter of 2021 by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The fourth wave of COVID-19 infections which started at the end of April has severely impacted the country's already battered tourism industry.

About 90 per cent of tourists reportedly cancelled tours in both May and early June.

According to the Hanoi Department of Tourism, 80-90 per cent of the city's tourism businesses have temporarily suspended operations and 90 per cent of workers in the tourism industry are unemployed or working in different sectors.

Efforts are being made to gradually reopen to international tourism, which was halted in March last year.

Recently, the resort island Phu Quoc in southern Vietnam announced plans to fully vaccinate its residents against COVID-19 by September in a bid to welcome vaccinated tourists, likely from the Russian market.

Tourism is the mainstay of Phu Quoc's economy. In 2020, tourist arrivals on the island dropped 30.6 per cent compared to 2019, with international arrivals down by 76.1 per cent.

Source: Vietnam News

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