HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 8 May 2020
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism ("MCST") has announced plans for tourism market recovery as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic ends. MCST plans to focus on stimulating the domestic tourism market and coordinating with airlines, transport and travel firms to exempt or reduce service fees, including air tickets, accommodation costs and visiting fees. The ministry will implement the "Safe Vietnam Tourism" programme and a domestic tourism stimulus programme with the co-operation of locals, transport and travel companies. The tourism industry will also focus on the business travel segment. The industry will build a smart tourism operation centre to digitise the tourism industry and apply it for advertising, communications and development of new tourism products. While other Asian countries announced the end of the pandemic, Vietnam will launch a communication campaign "Vietnam NOW - Safety and Smiling", a tourism stimulus programme with preferential packages for domestic and Asian tourists. The ministry has also suggested the government to develop a 12 to 18-months financial package in order to support tourism businesses to recover after the pandemic.
On 27 April 2020, Myanmar launched its COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan which includes seven goals, ten strategies, 36 action plans and 76 actions that cover a range of emergency fiscal and monetary measures. The plan focuses on monetary stimulus; easing deadlines for tax payments; easing the impact on the private sector through improvements to the investment; trade and banking sectors; assisting laborers, workers and households through cash transfers and waiving electricity tariffs up to 150 units per month; promoting innovative products and platforms; strengthening the health-care system; and increasing access to COVID-19 response financing. The monetary stimulus includes lowering banks' deposit and lending rate ceiling by 3% as well as their minimum reserve requirement, conducting credit auctions to inject more liquidity, allowing the central bank to increase financing of the fiscal deficit, and temporarily reducing treasury bond and bill auction sales. The K100 billion fund, which was set up last month for local small and medium-sized enterprises, the garment and manufacturing, as well as the hotel and tourism sectors, offering loans at a 1% interest rate, will increase to K200-K500 billion by the end of the year.
On 24 April 2020, the Hong Kong Tourism Board ('HKTB') held an online conference to provide an update on tourism development and strategic framework of recovery plan. The conference was attended by 1,500 representatives from travel agencies, attractions, hotels, airlines, retail and dining industries, as well as MICE and cruise sectors. In an earlier announcement, HKTB revealed the allocation of HKD400 million to support promotions by the trade. HKTB has come up with a three-phase plan to recover Hong Kong tourism. The first phase is showing resilience by preparing a recovery plan for tourism industry. The second phase is on recovery; HKTB will focus on the domestic market first by encouraging locals to explore different neighborhoods and community cultures in the city while launching promotions to entice people's interest to visit Hong Kong. In the third phase on relaunch, significant events and a new tourism brand campaign will be launched to rebuild Hong Kong's tourism image.
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