The government’s suspension of international tourism has meant many tour guides have lost their livelihoods and look for other jobs.
Tran Quang Anh, a veteran German-language tour guide with two decades on the job, has seen dramatic changes in his life since March.
For about two months now, Anh has been hanging around, waiting for the pandemic to pass before returning to work.Slowly, but surely, realize that it won't pass anytime soon.
Struggling with the requirement of another job, he decided to become a fitness trainer.He received his fitness trainer certification in early June.He currently works at a gym in Hanoi and also works as a home trainer.
He says his income is "temporarily sufficient", which is not how he describes his income as a German-speaking tour guide.
“I am a new employee and need to learn more things.Age is also a barrier in sports coaching,” he said.“Everybody has a hard time starting something.But I always look at it positively."
Tran Quang Anh trains a member at a gym in Tay Ho District, Hanoi.Photo: Anh.
Tran Anh, another international tour guide, has been unemployed since the banning of international visitors.
Vietnam has banned entry for foreign nationals since March 22, except for special cases, and suspended international flights since March 25.
Anh still receives a basic salary from the company even though she doesn't work, but that money is not enough to support her children, so she has to think about a new job.
“At first, I tried to take domestic tourists everywhere.However, it didn't work out, and I didn't feel right,” she said.“Domestic and international guests have different views and needs."
Fortunately, the director of a translation company invited her to cooperate in an English-German translation project.But the project only lasted about five months, Anh had to continue looking for work.She said that now having a job is a great luck, although the income will not be as high as before.
Tour guide Bui Danh Hien, 26 years old, stayed at home for nearly three months.Hien is currently teaching at another English center, a job he used to do when he was a university student.
Hien is worried about her fellow tour guides and their job options, as the tourism sector is freezing.“I hope everyone will stay strong to get through this difficult time."
Vietnam received 3.8 million foreign visitors in the first 7 months, down 61 turns.6% year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
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