HCMC – Many tourism companies have sought support in terms of the payment of taxes and fees to maintain their operations in 2021 as their revenues in 2020 fell by two-thirds on average and most of their employees have yet to resume work.
On January 27, the department held a conference to review the local tourism sector’s performance last year and discuss plans for this year.
At the conference, representatives of travel firms said that the year 2020 was tough for enterprises, including travel firms, as their revenues plunged 70-80%.
Hotels in HCMC are facing a more difficult situation as most of their revenue is from the inbound tourism segment, which has been suspended since March 2020.
According to the five-star Grand Hotel, due to a fall in the number of tourists, the number of its employees reduced 20%. The average income of laborers was equal to 55% of that in 2019.
In other hotels, the proportion of employees losing their jobs was higher, even 50%. Some hotels have also shut down due to huge losses.
According to statistics from Savills Vietnam, in the first half of last year, 3,600 three- to five-star hotel rooms were closed. In the second half, only 30% of them were reopened.
Tran Doan The Duy, general director of Vietravel, said its revenue tumbled 75% in 2020. To overcome the consequences of the pandemic, enterprises need financial support policies.
Specifically, the deadline of the corporate income tax payment should be extended to the end of this year. The deadlines to pay other taxes and fees such as personal income tax should also be extended.
Enterprises should be offered preferential loans to resume their operations and pay employees’ salaries.
At the conference, HCMC’s total tourism revenue this year was reported to reach over VND84.5 trillion, down nearly 40% or some VND55.6 trillion year-on-year due to Covid-19, according to the HCMC Department of Tourism.
Last year, the city welcomed more than 1.3 million international tourists, plunging 84.8% against 2019 and meeting nearly 14.5% of the target. Meanwhile, the number of domestic guests plummeted 51.5% to nearly 15.9 million, reaching 46.7% of the expected figure.
The highlight of the local tourism sector in 2020 was the “HCMC people travel in HCMC” program to encourage local agencies, schools and enterprises to use tourism services and products in the city. The program attracted nearly 100 enterprises, including travel and transport firms, providers of lodging, shopping and catering services and tourist sites, offering nearly 200 discount programs from 10% to 50%.
This year, the city will focus on supporting travel companies to recover from the pandemic with three scenarios.
In terms of international visitors, if the pandemic is completely controlled, Vietnam will resume all international air routes from the beginning of the year and the number of foreign guests coming to the city will reach 8.6-9 million.
Under the second scenario, Covid-19 will be controlled and Vietnam will reopen air routes to some safe countries from early this year and the city will welcome six to seven million foreign tourists.
If international flights are resumed later, the number of international tourists is expected to reach three million. The number is expected to be 1.5 million if international flights are resumed in the last quarter of this year. In this scenario, Covid-19 has yet to be controlled both at home and abroad.
As for local tourists, the department also came up with three scenarios with the same context as the foreign tourism segment, with the number of tourists being expected to hit 32.7 million, 33.5 million and 22.9 million.
The city looks to earn tourism revenue of VND140 trillion, VND97.7 trillion and VND33.4 trillion, respectively.
By Dao Loan