The tourism industry has lost 50 percent of number of travelers in the last five months, but bigger difficulties are still ahead.
While other travel firms laid off workers in large numbers in April and May, a CEO of a large tourism group tried every possible way to retain workers to prepare for the comeback after Covid-19.
However, he has finally given up. The CEO last week signed a decision on laying off 200 workers at a hotel in the southwestern region.
“I know it will be difficult for workers to find new jobs, but I had to make such a decision as a last resort, because I can see that there won’t be anything for them to do in the next six months,” he said.
Though the epidemic has been controlled in Vietnam and Vietnamese have begun traveling again, the future is uncertain for travel firms.
|While other travel firms laid off workers in large numbers in April and May, a CEO of a large tourism group tried every possible way to retain workers to prepare for the comeback after Covid-19.|
Nguyen Son Thuy, director of Indochina Unique Tourist, said he planned to retain his staff by using the emergency fund, but he has changed his mind because the situation has become unbearable.
In March, when international air routes were closed because of the epidemic, the businessman planned to freeze his business activities for several months before reactivating them.. However, he is now not sure when he can do this.
“I hoped we could restart in July or August. But now I cannot say when,” he complained.
Analysts said the market would witness another shutdown and worker layoff wave in the time to come, after a similar wave was raised in March and April. By that time, even large-scale companies won’t be able to exist.
“A series of travel firms, including large ones, could go bankrupt in the months from July to the end of October,” said Tran Trong Kien, chair of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB).
Travel firms not only face difficulties in 2020, but will also see an uncertain future in the upcoming years. Most operational companies are incurring major losses and bigger problems will come in 6-12 months.
A businessman said on Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon that there is a high possibility of the tourism market getting frozen once again in the time to come.
Travel firms now are putting high hopes on the four summer weeks ahead, trying to get more jobs to earn money to cover regular expenses such as office rent, electricity and water, and salaries. However, they are not sure if this is possible.
“The peak of difficulties will come in Q3. After the summer, if the international market still is not open, travel firms will run out of clients,” said Nguyen Ngoc An, deputy CEO of Fiditour.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed establishing a “travel bubble” with a number of safe countries post – COVID-19 to welcome back foreign travelers to Vietnam by the end of July.
The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2020, themed “Vietnamese tourism looks toward the future,” is slated for August 12-15 in Hanoi.