|A tour guide (right) helps a tourist get off the boat at Tràng An Eco-tourism Complex in northern Ninh Bình Province before the pandemic struck. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI – More than 9,000 tour guides out of work because of the pandemic have been given financial support by the government.
By the end of October this year, 9,294 guides nationwide received cash with a total value of almost VNĐ34.5 billion (US$1.5 million) to help them overcome difficulties brought by the pandemic, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Statistics from the ministry showed that localities received 10,762 applications for support from tour guides affected in accordance with Prime Minister’s Decision No 23/2021/QD-TTg. Of these, 9,294 applicants were deemed to be eligible for support.
Localities with the largest number of tour guides receiving help are Đà Nẵng, Hà Nội, HCM City, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Ninh and Khánh Hòa.
In Đà Nẵng alone, 2,661 guides were helped at a total cost of VNĐ9.87 billion while Hà Nội supported 1,173 with VNĐ4.35 billion and HCM City assisted 1,528 with VNĐ5.66 billion.
Under the Prime Minister’s Decision No.23/2021/QD-TTg dated July 7, 2021, tour guides are among the groups most affected by the pandemic and are entitled to a benefit of VNĐ3.71 million ($163) each.
To access the financial support, they are required to show their valid tour guide cards granted prior to May 1, and a valid labour contract with travel firms.
The travel industry is among sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as countries had to close borders and impose travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh has approved a pilot plan to welcome international visitors as proposed earlier by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Five pilot destinations to receive foreign tourists include Phú Quốc City in Kiên Giang Province, Khánh Hòa, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ninh provinces and the central city of Đà Nẵng.
International tourists with vaccine passports or those who have made a full recovery from COVID-19 can visit these five destinations in Việt Nam starting from this month, without a quarantine mandate. – VNS