Tourism may reopen if 75% of total population is vaccinated: Foreign Minister

During the question and answer session hour at National Assembly yesterday, Member of Parliament from Phuentshogpelri Samtse asked the Minister of Home and Culture Affairs on the future plans and strategies to support the affected businesses in the tourism industry and also on opening of tourism in the country.

The MP said that due to the Covid-19 situation, most of the tourism and related businesses are completely without any business and it has impacted the livelihood of the individuals in the country.

Responding to the query on behalf of Home and Culture affair Minister, Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said that the discussion is ongoing, and the pandemic has had an influence on the country’s economy, particularly the business sector.

Lyonpo said that around 50,000 people have been affected by the pandemic, but under His Majesty’s Kidu program, these people have been granted monthly salaries to help them survive, and financial institutions have waived interest on their loans till next year and made it simpler for the affected people to get loans.

“We cannot predict when the situation will return to normal or when tourism will reopen. The government, on the other hand, will continue to help,” Lyonpo said.

Lyonpo said that the hotels have been turned into quarantine centers and the government is covering the expenses. And it must be enabling them to pay the rentals and their staffs and also, those in the tourism industry are given job opportunities, with roughly 3,000 people benefiting.

According to Lyonpo, the opening of tourism will be determined by the global circumstances, but if the second dosage of vaccination is provided to all individuals, there will be opportunity for the door to be opened for the tourist.

“In addition, vaccines for children aged 12 to 17 will be available this year, and if 75 percent of the population is vaccinated, the country will be able to open its doors to tourism,” Lyonpo said.

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