Tour guide leads a group of foreign tourists through downtown HCMC, 2019. Photo by VnExpress / Phong Vinh
A total of 9,294 tour guides who lost their jobs during Covid each received VND 3.71 million ($ 163.73) in government assistance, according to official statistics.
As of October 24, 10,762 tour guides across the country have applied for the government’s second Covid relief program, but only 9,294 were qualified, according to statistics from Vietnam’s National Tourism Administration.
The total amount disbursed is around 34.5 billion dong ($ 1.51 billion). Among them, Da Nang disbursed 9.87 billion VND to support 2,661 tourist guides, followed by Ho Chi Minh City with 5.66 billion VND and Hanoi with 4.35 billion VND.
The government released its second pandemic relief program worth VND 26 trillion last July, following the first VND 62 trillion initiative launched in April last year to help poor people and businesses affected by Covid-19.
Under the second package, tour guides are entitled to receive VND 3.71 million each. To access financial support, they must present valid licenses granted before May 1, 2021 and have not yet received any prior monetary support.
Before the pandemic, more than 26,000 tourist guides were authorized to operate in the country, including 16,000 specializing in tours abroad, according to official data.
Vietnam’s tourism industry is going through one of the most difficult times in its history. Covid-19 reduced the number of foreign arrivals last year by nearly 79% 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 the Covid.
Currently, some popular tourist hot spots have reopened their domestic services with strict guarantees while the government has allowed five destinations Kien Giang, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh to welcome foreign tourists again starting this month. .