The number of tour guides receiving financial support from the Government remains modest because of problems in procedures.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) reports that in the first month of Prime Minister’s Decision 23 on financial support to Covid-hit people and businesses, only 400 tour guides received support, totaling VND1.4 billion.
The agency has urged local tourism departments to disburse financial support. As of August 24, 55 departments had submitted reports about the decision, while 45 departments reported on tour guides’ applications for support.
Of the total 3,027 applications, there were 2,741 valid dossiers. Tour guides got financial support of over VND10 billion.
Nguyen Quy Phuong from VNAT said in Danang over 1,200 tour guides have received support, while the figure was 500 in Thua Thien-Hue.
The disbursement of the financial support package has been going slowly. Only 390 tour guides in HCMC have received VND900 million. In Hanoi, the local tourism department has received only 96 applications, and only 49 were valid. In Khanh Hoa, only 86 out of 108 applications have been approved.
As of August 24, Quang Ninh tourism department had disbursed VND263.4 million to 71 tour guides.
These cities and provinces have high numbers of tour guides. HCMC, for example, has 6,000, Da Nang 4,700, Hanoi 5,800 and Khanh Hoa 1,500, which account for nearly 70 percent of total tour guides nationwide.
The Ministry of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs said as social distancing is being imposed in many localities, tour guides still do not understand the policy and have not made applications for financial support. Besides, officials understand the regulation in different ways.
Dang Huong Giang, Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, said many tour guides cannot show lawful papers to get support. They have not signed long-term labor contracts with tourism companies, but only signed short-term contracts on each tour. It would be unfair if the tour guides cannot receive support, because they make contributions to tourism industry development.
Nguyen Xuan Binh, Deputy Director of the DaNang Tourism Department, said that the number of tour guides who have labor contracts with tourism companies is small. Of the 1,229 tour guides who have received money in DaNang, only 33 had labor contracts, while the others received money because they are members of tour guide associations.
The leaders of six tourism departments have proposed simplifying procedures to make the support package more accessible. Tour guides would only have to show their tour guide cards to get the money.
Tour guides are subject to the Government’s VND26 trillion support package which aims to help Covid-19-hit businesses and people. However, unclear requirements have may have caused the package to be inaccessible to thousands of tour guides.
Performing artists and tour guides who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic should be added to the Government's list of financial aid beneficiaries, according to a recent proposal from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.