18.01.2021, 12:54

Withdrawal of tour operators’ licenses surges in 2020

Withdrawal of tour operators’ licenses surges in 2020

Tourists visit Halong City in Quang Ninh Province. The revocation of business licenses of tour operators in 2020 tripled that of 2019 – PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HCMC – Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the revocation of business licenses of tour operators in 2020 tripled that of 2019, while the number of new licenses for travel firms was equivalent to only 30% of the figure seen in 2019.

Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism indicated that the country had some 3,340 tour operators in 2020, including 2,520 international travel firms and 820 local ones.

The global health crisis sent international tourism arrivals in Vietnam down 80% and cut the number of domestic tourists by 34% last year, resulting in an upsurge in the withdrawal of tour operators’ licenses.

The administration revoked 338 business licenses of tour services last year while issuing 201 new licenses to travel firms.

Due to few tourists, many tour operators arranged only 30% of their human resources to be present at the firms, while many other employees took unpaid leave or had their salaries cut by 80%, according to the administration.

Some travel firms told the Saigon Times Online that though tourism activities had resumed and the Lunar New Year holiday was approaching, their business activity had yet to show a positive sign.

Many employees of several tour operators remained on furlough, while those employed were working part time.

To support tour operators overcome the hardships caused by the pandemic, the Ministry of Finance introduced a new regulation reducing the fees of appraisal for licensing travel businesses and for issuing accreditation cards to tour guides by 50% from January 1, 2021.

However, many representatives of tour operators said that the support would not contribute much to help travel firms overcome difficulties as the demand for setting up a tour operator was currently low and these fees were not too high to begin with.