National Day holiday extension proposed as tourism boost

By Viet Tuan, Hoang Phuong   June 9, 2020 | 01:27 am PT
National Day holiday extension proposed as tourism boost
Motorbikes are stuck for several kilometers in Dong Nai Province as people return to HCMC at the end of the National Day holiday, September 2, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has suggested that this year's National Day holiday in September be extended from Wednesday to the weekend.

The VNAT said the suggestion had come from several quarters, seeking to give a fillip to post Covid-19 domestic tourism.

Vietnam’s National Day commemorates President Ho Chi Minh reading out the nation’s Declaration of Independence in Hanoi on September 2, 1945.

This year, the national holiday falls on a Wednesday, and many localities and over 30 businesses have said the holiday could be extended for the rest of that week to commemorate the 75th National Day and promote domestic tourism, VNAT head Nguyen Trung Khanh said on Tuesday.

Ha Tat Thang, head of the Department of Labor Safety, which is an advisory agency for annual holidays under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said he has not received any official document with such a suggestion from the tourism sector.

"Recovering from the epidemic, all businesses want to focus on restoring production. Each sector will have its own direction, but everything should serve the same interest," he said, adding that he would discuss the proposal with the labor ministry once he receives an official document. Whether the holiday would be extended or not would be decided by the government, he said.

Of a total of 14 public holidays in Vietnam this year, there’s only one left, which is the National Day.

Starting 2021, Vietnamese will enjoy an extra day off for the National Day holiday, either on September 1 or September 3.

Vietnamese public holidays are: the New Year’s Day on the Gregorian calendar; the commemoration day of the Hung Kings, the nation's mythical founders, on the 10th day of the third lunar month; the National Reunification Day on April 30; the Labor Day on May 1; the National Day on September 2; and the Tet or Lunar New Year holiday which normally lasts from seven to nine days that includes weekends.

Vietnam’s tourism industry had lost an estimated $7 billion in revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the number of guests in hotels dropping by 60 percent, according to data from the General Statistics Office. The country has suspended international flights since March 25.

Of the 332 Covid-19 cases Vietnam has recorded so far, there are only 16 active cases left and the nation has gone 54 days without community transmission of the virus.

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