HCMC – The HCMC Tourism Association will send a petition on Thursday urging agencies to soften operation conditions for entrepreneurs in the industry and offer them more tax incentives.
Tourism Association seeks help for businesses
By Dao Loan - The Saigon Times Daily
A foreign buyer seeks information at a local company booth in a HCMC travel expo in this file photo. The tourism sector says the next few months will be tough - Photo: Dao Loan HCMC – The HCMC Tourism Association will send a petition on Thursday urging agencies to soften operation conditions for entrepreneurs in the industry and offer them more tax incentives.
Nguyen Thi Khanh, vice chairwoman of the association, which represents over 124 travel firms, hotels and other companies, told the Daily it would ask for a 50% reduction of value added tax (VAT) and a 30% reduction of corporate income tax. Enterprises also want to pay the tax two quarters later than normal.
The request is identical to the incentives offered for tourism companies in 2009 when the financial crisis hit the country’s tourism industry. Khanh said the market is still unstable with higher operation costs, a depreciation of the Vietnamese dong against the U.S. dollar and higher interest rates.
“We worry because high operation costs make prices high and signs of a slowdown of purchasing power have also surfaced,” Khanh said.
Members of the association have said the price of food and beverage is up by around 20 to 30%, hotel room prices are up 15%. Car rental for tourists is up 40 to 60%.
Two years ago, city travel companies received cheaper air tickets (between 30-50%) from Vietnam Airlines for domestic package tours. The program ended at the end of last year.
Khanh said many members of the association had struggled. “But, we still need to help them overcome the challenges ahead,” she said.
La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the city’s department of Culture, Sports and Tourism agreed with the association’s fears.
“We are seeking methods to help businesses by improving the purchasing power of customers,” he said.
Khanh said the department has met with Vietnam Airlines to discuss cooperation between the tourism and airlines sectors for promotion programs in the summer seasons. “Vietnam Airlines has promised to announce the program soon. We hope to make attractive promotion programs in a bid to woo more customers in the business season,” he said.