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May 02, 2021 / 09:33

Nearly 40% of Vietnamese workers in tourism remain idle

Covid-19 has caused a sharp decline in business revenue in the tourism industry.

As of March, 39% of workers in the tourism industry have remained idle due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest report from the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB).

 A tour guide is working in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: VNAT

The report on the resilience of tourism businesses in the Covid-19 pandemic found that the number of active workers has occupied around 61% in accommodation establishments, roughly  60% in inbound companies and about 58% in souvenir shops.

Hoang Nhan Chinh, Head of the TAB Secretariat, said that, most of active workers must agree to reductions in working time and salary to keep their jobs. “Many small and micro businesses have to let employees take temporary leave,” he added.

The survey also showed that Covid-19 caused a sharp decline in business revenue. About 56% of respondents said that their revenue in 2020 dropped by 25% compared to 2019. The pandemic raised additional costs of management, financial support for employees who are laid off.

The report noted that up to 88% of businesses want support in the forms of tax deferral and reduction, exemption or postponement of health and social insurance premium payment as well as trade union fees. The number of enterprises wishing to reduce unnecessary inspections  was 86%.

"In particular, up to 91% of companies want their employees to get inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible," Chinh said.

He also forecast that 2021 will continue to be a difficult year for the tourism industry. “Until the second half of 2022, tourism activities will be normalized,” he said.

Based on the survey, Chinh suggested local tourism companies should give priority to ensure safety at destinations  as well as move marketing, sales consulting and customer care  to online platforms so as to reduce costs to Vietnamese tourists who are facing financial difficulties after the pandemic. 

The survey was jointly conducted by the TAB, the Private Economic Development Research Board and the Swiss Sustainable Tourism Program. It drew the participation of 432 tourism businesses in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and 16 other localities across the country.

In 2020, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reported 60% of workers in the tourism industry lost their jobs when 90% of international tourist agencies closed down, and accommodation establishments only run at 10-15% of their capacity.