Gov't allots $570m financial aid for the tourism sector
About $270m of the aid will be given as one-off cash subsidies to practitioners.
The Hong Kong government has allotted $570m of financial aid for the tourism sector under its Anti-epidemic Fund, marking its sixth round of support for the industry.
The latest round of financial aid brings the government's total commitment to the tourism industry to $3.42b in the past two years.
Of the total aid, Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said $270m will be distributed as one-off cash subsidies to tourism practitioners whilst the remaining $300m will be injected into the Green Lifestyle Local Tour Incentive Scheme (GLIS) for its extension.
Eligible persons for the cash subsidy has already been informed by the Tourism Commission (TC) through SMS and will receive their cash aid before the Chinese New Year.
The arrangement for cash subsidy disbursement will be uploaded to the TC's website (www.tourism.gov.hk).
Other details about the cash subsidy are as follows:
- Travel agents: travel agents with 10 or fewer staff members will be provided with a subsidy at a flat rate of $50,000 each; for travel agents with 11 staff members or more, the subsidy level will be directly proportional to the number of staff members they have, with a subsidy level of $5,000 per staff member as the basis of calculation. Some 1,580 travel agents are expected to benefit from this measure;
- Travel agents' staff and freelance accredited tourist guides and tour escorts whose main occupation is/was a tourist guide and tour escort: each will be provided with a one-off subsidy of $7,500. Some 18,300 persons are expected to benefit from this measure; and
- Drivers of tour service coaches who are/were mainly serving tourists: a one-off subsidy of $3,350 will be provided to each tour service coach driver. Some 3,400 drivers are expected to benefit from this measure.
Meanwhile, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said the injection of the $300m to the GLIS will allow for the creation of more tourism-related job opportunities for practitioners whilst "assisting to enhance the standards of attractions and their supporting facilities, as well as the services of tourist guides and other aspects, to equip them well for the return of visitors.”
GLIS, which was launched in January 2020, provides a cash incentive of $200 per participant based on the number of tour participants. The number of participants which each travel agent can claim for incentive payment is capped at 1,000.
Details of the scheme will be announced on the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong's website (www.tichk.org).