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Tourism-industry body to seek financial help from Myanmar govt

The Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association says it is seeking a K50 billion loan from the government in order to help overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector in Myanmar.

Tourism companies have seen their revenues severely hit since the virus was first reported in late December, the association says.

U Naung Naung Han, chair of the Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association, said that he estimates the severe drop in visitor numbers due to the pandemic could last as long as six months up to a year. Such a prolonged loss of business would have severe impacts on the associations’ members ability to pay their employees, he added.

U Naung Naung Han said that there are some 1100 companies involved in local tourism and the loan would be used to help the companies pay salaries and keep workers employed during the slowdown.

“We won’t ignore the proposals of tourism-industry organisations, and will convey the request to the government,” said Ministry of Hotel and Tourism Deputy Director General U Aung Aye Han when asked to comment on the request for financial aid for tourism companies.

As the coronavirus has spread to 150 countries, causing travel restrictions to be put in place by many governments around the world, local tourism companies have had to cut costs wherever possible to continue operating, said U Naung Naung Han.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in a televised speech on March 16 tax reductions and interest rate cuts will be implemented; soft loans and tax exemptions will be arranged for businesses hardest hit by the outbreak, such as garment manufacturers, hotels and tourism companies, and small and medium-sized businesses. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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