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Travel firms protest planned increase in security deposits

Update: December, 08/2012 - 09:16

HCM CITY (VNS)— The HCM City Tourism Association (HTA) has petitioned the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and concerned authorities not to increase the security deposit collected from travel firms that offer inbound and outbound tours.

The petition was sent after a meeting between the HTA and the HCM City Society of Travel Agents (HSTA) last Friday.

The petition asks the administration not to double the security deposit from VND250 million to VND500 million as mentioned in a draft submitted by VNAT to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism early this year.

The petition says the doubling of deposit is not warranted at a time tourism businesses are facing many difficulties.

The security deposit is collected from travel firms so that tourists can be compensated in case the former commits any violation or settle problems that occur when tourists do not have any travel insurance.

The petition noted that the security deposit has so far been "dead money," because there has been no case where it has been used to compensate tourists or help them in any other manner.

Moreover, all companies involved in international travelling have to buy insurance for their customers. If and when something unfortunate happens, there are insurance companies to pay compensation.

The petition said the security deposit is mostly serving the function of showing the ability of travel firms to do business.

Hence, the authorities should not increase the deposit at a time of economic crisis, it added.

Moreover, the HTA said it would continue to ask banks that keep the travel companies' security deposits to increase the interest rate from the 0.2 per cent per month offered for savings accounts without fixed terms. At a minimum, the rate given for three-month deposits should accrue for the travel firms' security deposits, the association said.

There are around 1,000 travel companies nationwide that offer inbound and outbound tours. — VNS

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