Over 9,000 pandemic-struck tour guides receive government financial support

By Hoang Phong   November 10, 2021 | 03:31 am PT
Over 9,000 pandemic-struck tour guides receive government financial support
A tour guide leads a group of foreign tourists in downtown HCMC, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh
A total 9,294 tour guides who had lost their jobs during Covid have each received VND3.71 million ($163.73) in government relief, according to official statistics.

As of Oct. 24, 10,762 tour guides in the country have applied for the government’s second Covid relief package but only 9,294 qualified, according to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

The total disbursed amount is around VND34.5 billion ($1.51 billion). Among them, Da Nang has disbursed VND9.87 billion to support 2,661 tour guides, followed by Ho Chi Minh City with VND5.66 billion, and Hanoi with VND4.35 billion.

The government issued its second pandemic relief package worth VND26 trillion last July following the first VND62 trillion initiative released in April last year to help poor individuals and businesses hit by Covid-19.

Under the second package, tour guides are entitled to receive VND3.71 million each. To access the financial support, they are required to show valid licenses granted prior to May 1, 2021 and have not yet received any previous monetary aid.

Before the pandemic, over 26,000 tour guides were licensed to operate in the country, including 16,000 specializing in outbound tours, according to official data.

Vietnam’s tourism industry is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in its history. Covid-19 slashed the number of foreign arrivals last year by nearly 79 percent to 3.8 million.

The country closed its border to foreign tourists and canceled international flights in March last year to curb the spread of Covid.

Currently, some popular tourist hotspots reopened domestic services with strict safeguards while the government has allowed five destinations Kien Giang, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, and Quang Ninh to welcome back foreign tourists from this month.

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