HCMC tourism authorities propose tax cuts to ease coronavirus pain

By Phuong Dong, Hoai Thu   March 1, 2020 | 07:38 pm PT
HCMC tourism authorities propose tax cuts to ease coronavirus pain
Tourists stand in front of the Central Post Office in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Tam Linh.
The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department wants a 50 percent cut in taxes for tourism-related businesses to mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

It said the city People’s Committee should cut income tax and value-added tax for restaurants, hotels and transport and tourism companies and delay their collection to the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Land fees should also be cut by half for two years on hotels and convention centers, it said.

From the government, it sought visa waivers for nationals of Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and Canada to boost tourism demand.

The proposals come amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus, which has hurt the city’s tourism industry.

Ho Chi Minh City's tourist arrivals fell 62 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2020, the department said.

It caused a VND920.5 billion ($40 million) fall in revenues as almost 88,000 tourists canceled plans to visit.

Restaurants and hotels have cut their staff by 10 percent to lower costs, it added.

Vietnam’s tourist arrivals in February fell 22 percent year-on-year to 1.2 million.

The epidemic could cost Vietnam tourism revenues of $7-15 billion this year, according to the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board.

All 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Vietnam have recovered and the country has recorded no new cases since February 13.

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