Business executives divided over extending National Day holiday to boost tourism

By Anh Minh   June 10, 2020 | 08:00 am GMT+7

Some experts feel an extension of the National Day holiday this year could stimulate domestic tourism, others warn it will affect the manufacturing industry.

Labourers work at a garment company in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Reuters/Yen Duong.

Laborers work at a garment company in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Reuters/Yen Duong.

The proposal to extend the National Day (September 2) holiday from one to five days was made by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism's chief, Nguyen Trung Khanh, to boost tourism, which has slumped due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The suggestion was also made by executives from more than 30 tourism businesses at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on June 3.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said he disagreed with the proposal.

"After a long period of social distancing, workers want to return to work to earn money and enterprises need to boost production and business, connect with value chains and regain their market," he told VnExpress.

"Enterprises in the manufacturing sector are struggling to sustain themselves due to the pandemic. If the holiday is extended, businesses will certainly face more difficulties."

Loc argued that while the tourism industry is among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and thus needs measures to be taken to rebound, the measures to ‘save’ tourism should not affect other industries.

Do Van Sinh, a standing member of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, also objected to the proposal. He said a long break is unreasonable from a production perspective since business owners now need their workforce to restore production after the hiatus.

However, Pham Xuan Trinh, general director of Phong Phu Joint Stock Company, voted for the proposal. He said while there are not many orders for textile enterprises, an extended National Day holiday would help boost tourism, travel and spending, including on products like clothes.

The head of a food processing company in Ho Chi Minh City said five days’ closure would not affect production too much but would spur consumer spending, which would be beneficial to her company.

 
 
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