Tourism industry needs support
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for urgent support for tourism businesses impacted by the second wave of COVID-19.
Hotels have faced less than 10 percent occupancy during the second wave of the pandemic. (Photo: nld.com.vn)
The ministry suggested that tourism firms should be allowed to delay paying loan interest as they have been facing a very difficult situation with a lack of customers, while 95 percent of travel businesses have halted operations.
The ministry said enterprises working in the hospitality sector such as motels, hotels and resorts in Hanoi and HCM City reported only 10 percent occupancy rates during the second wave of the pandemic while in the directly affected localities of Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai, there were almost no foreign visitors except some experts and those isolated due to the virus.
“As the hospitality firms, especially the small and medium-sized firms, could not make profits and face losses, the Government’s policy of 30 percent reduction of corporate income tax is no use to help them," a document from the ministry read.
Instead, the culture ministry asked for solutions to reduce taxes, fees and electricity bills for the firms.
It asked the Government to allow hospitality firms to enjoy the electricity prices applied for the production industry, which are currently a third lower than the electricity bills for the service industry.
It also asked the PM to reduce the VAT rate from 10 percent to 5 percent in 2020 and 2021.
Regarding banking support, the ministry asked for extensions for paying loan interest until December 2021 because most tourism businesses do not make any income and they cannot pay interest.
According to the ministry, most banks currently apply a reduction of 1 or 2 percent in lending interest rates or extend the debt repayment period for customers affected by COVID-19 but they have not mentioned plans to delay the payment of loan interest.
At the same time, the ministry said it was necessary to continue restructuring debts, extending loan repayment periods, debt grouping, loan interest payment and excluding overdue loans to help businesses.
To support the employees of the firms, the ministry asked for an extension to retirement and death insurance payment deadlines and delaying the time of payment of trade union fees for those firms while keeping all the rights of health insurance for their employees.
It also asked the Government to create more favourable conditions and procedures for the industry’s firms to receive support, helping them more easily access the Government's 62 trillion VND (2.6 billion USD) support package./.VNS
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) has proposed several urgent measures to the Prime Minister to support travel firms, including an extension on loan interest payments until December 2021.
To develop sustainably the tourism industry in the new normal, besides stimulating demand, the most important thing is to ensure safety for tourists.