HCMC travel firms seek interest-free loans to pay salaries

By Huynh Nhi   June 15, 2021 | 12:00 am PT
HCMC travel firms seek interest-free loans to pay salaries
The Majestic Hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
The HCMC Department of Tourism has asked the municipal People's Committee to provide travel firms access to a non-interest loan package of VND208 billion ($9.06 million).

The loan would help large and small tourist firms heavily affected by new coronavirus waves pay at least 50 percent of their employees' salaries for three months. These loans are expected to cover about 31,500 employees at 1,049 travel firms across the city.

The city-funded credit package will be given to affected firms in the form of unsecured loans.

Many tourist firms in the southern metropolis saw revenues in the first five months of this year plummet by 70 percent year-on-year, with some large companies having cut their payroll by 50-80 percent to reduce costs.

Apart from the loan package, the department also proposed the city government support training expenses for tourism personnel this year.

The cost for the training program is estimated at VND1.2 billion. The money will be used for 20 training courses for tour guides, managers and staff working for tourism-service providers, food and beverage businesses, and hotels.

The department also suggested free entrance fees from August until the end of 2021 at the city’s main tourist attractions, including War Remnants Museum, Vietnam History Museum, HCMC Fine Arts Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels Relic Site.

The city received 7.1 million domestic tourists in the first five months of this year, down 47 percent from 2019, and earned revenues of VND35.5 trillion, down 37 percent.

The southern metropolis has reported 923 Covid infections in the latest wave, and authorities have closed all tourist destinations and pedestrian-only streets since early June.

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