December 04, 2021 05:57

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Green passport the "key" to revive aviation and tourism

19:57 | 15/10/2021

VCN - The aviation industry plays a role in connecting our country with the world, and directly promotes tourism development. Therefore, it is urgent to implement support measures to revive these two important sectors.

By reducing the infection rate in the community, eliminating social distancing, and increasing vaccination rates, Vietnam can gradually restore domestic flights and the tourism market. Photo: ST
By reducing the infection rate in the community, eliminating social distancing, and increasing vaccination rates, Vietnam can gradually restore domestic flights and the tourism market. Photo: ST

Aviation suggests many support packages

Pham Duy Nghia, Director of Vietfoot Travel:

Many other countries have promoted Green Passports in the hope of revitalizing the economy, bringing life back to a new normal, and Vietnam is no exception. The Green passports should be digitized for convenient inspection and monitoring of people. Additionally, provinces and cities need to have a clear mechanism in the "green movement" plan to avoid the situation that one province obstructs the circulation of people and businesses of another province.

Mr. Hoang Quoc Hoa, Deputy Director of Tourism Information Center (Vietnam National Administration of Tourism - VNAT):

The VNAT has built the Vietnam safe travel app, which integrated the Covid-19 safety registration and declaration system for tourism business establishments. Currently, the system has recorded nearly 14,000 registered and declared enterprises. The vaccination certification system for international visitors has also been integrated in this app. This system is built to be compatible with European standards. It can connect with applications of consular, immigration, and aviation to serve international tourists.

Do Hoa (recorded)

Facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the aviation industry suffered the most among the economic sectors. Up to now, it has enjoyed several supportive policies such as a 30% reduction of environmental protection tax; postponement, extension of land rent and a rescue package of VND12,000 billion for Vietnam Airlines (VNA); and free air service fees.

According to airlines' reports, Pacific Airlines wants to borrow VND5,700 billion to restore production, of which at least VND2,000 billion needs to be granted this year and early 2022.

Vietnam Airlines needs to be supported with a preferential loan of VND10,000 - 12,000 billion to meet cash flow.

Vietjet wants to be supported with a credit loan of VND8,000 - 10,000 billion; and Bamboo hopes to borrow VND5,000 billion in the refinancing form from commercial banks as applied to Vietnam Airlines and long-term credit with preferential interest rates and conditions.

Vietravel Airlines also seeks a loan of VND1,000 billion with an interest rate of 0% or a preferential interest rate and a long-term repayment period. Thus, the total capital demand proposed by airlines is from VND29,700 to VND33,700 billion.

According to Can Van Luc, Chief Economist of BIDV and member of the National Fiscal and Monetary Policy Advisory Council, the Government needs to consider and have an appropriate and feasible support plan for private airlines (support loans with interest rates of about 3-4%/year compared to commercial loans), with a loan term of 1-2 years. In addition to the ongoing support, some appropriate taxes and fees should be reduced.

Restart travel activities

According to experts, while waiting for reopening the airports and tourism for the international market, Vietnam can immediately do it for the domestic market, especially when the number of fully vaccinated people is increasing. Vaccine passports have become a global trend and Vietnam cannot stand aside. Experts from the Tourism Advisory Council have also proposed that the Government should implement a pilot program for the Vietnam Green Travel Pass to replace vaccine passports in Vietnam to reopen businesses, travel within the country, and proceed to immigration activities. Thereby realizing the dual goal of recovering economic development as soon as possible in the context of living with Covid-19 in the long-term.

According to Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam Vo Huy Cuong, the vaccine passport is understood as a piece of software that records a person's condition, which can be negative after a PCR test; have been vaccinated with 1 or 2 doses according to the manufacturer; or a patient that has recovered from Covid-19. In Vietnam, there are all three such subjects, but there is no difference in behavior and implementation towards them. Therefore, the vaccine passport needs to be unified and thoroughly researched. When the software application is put into use, it must ensure the confidentiality of personal information and prevent forgery; consider whether the cost of using the software is free or paid.

Cuong also expected that by the end of the month, if the number of infections in the community is reduced, social distancing is eliminated, and the vaccination rate is increasing, Vietnam can gradually return to normal domestic flights. After that, it can gradually reopen international travel with vaccine passports.

To safely resume tourism, the Hanoi Association developed a plan with the Hanoi Travel Association with "green" criteria. In which, tourists must be fully vaccinated with two doses, tested negative for SARS-CoV-2; a "green" enterprise with a tourism business workforce that has been fully vaccinated, capable of organizing safe tours; chain of "green" services such as: forms of tourism, accommodation facilities, transportation, and destinations that ensure they are self-contained, isolated, and safe. Travelers under 18 years of age, who have not been vaccinated, are required to have a negative test certificate for SARS-CoV-2.

Some localities such as Kien Giang, Ca Mau, and Khanh Hoa have planned to welcome tourists back and prioritize self-contained tourism and resort. Bui Quoc Thai, Director of the Department of Tourism of Kien Giang province said that the Department is developing a plan to select businesses that provide services, and propose tourist routes and attractions for visitors. In which, the distance and travel time will be limited, to spend time for relaxation and sightseeing. Activities for international tourists are designed according to their own needs, ensuring safety amid the pandemic.

By Xuan Thao - Do Hoa/ Ha Thanh