,Hong Kong

Gov’t extends $377m funding for hard-hit tourism sector

The new round of funding will benefit travel agents and their staff.

The government announced it will be earmarking some $377m under the Anti-epidemic Fund for the tourism sector, which was hit hard by the pandemic.

"The tourism industry has been the hardest hit sector in the past two years or so since the social unrest and violent incidents in the second half of 2019 and the COVID-19 outbreak thereafter,” Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said.

“Restrictions on cross-boundary/border travel and anti-epidemic measures implemented by various places have ground the tourism industry to a halt, resulting in related sectors such as cross-boundary transport, hotel and retail being seriously affected as well.”

The new round of funding will provide $50,000 for each travel agent with 10 or fewer staff members. The subsidy for agents with at least 11 staff members will be calculated proportionally to the number of staff with each getting $5,000.

This is expected to benefit some 1,600 travel agents.

Travel agents' staff and freelance accredited tourist guides and tour escorts whose main occupation is a tourist guide and tour escort will also be entitled to a one-off subsidy of $7,500.

Some 18 400 persons are expected to benefit from this measure.

Meanwhile, around 3,400 drivers of tour service coach mainly serving tourists will be granted a one-off subsidy of $3,350.

Moreover, the government will also provide financial support to the cross-boundary passenger transport trade.

“Taking into account the grave challenges faced by the tourism industry continuously, the Government has decided to provide a round of special further subsidies to continue to support the relevant trades and tide over practitioners during this challenging period,” Secretary Yau said.

Read more here.

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