Foreign visitors at Hải Vân Pass. The central city of Đà Nẵng will enforce strict penalties against foreign travel agencies and tour guides operating illegally. — Photo baodanang.vn
ĐÀ NẴNG — The central city of Đà Nẵng will enforce strict penalties against foreign travel agencies and tour guides operating illegally, tourism authority official has said.
Repeat violators will be deported or even banned from entering Việt Nam, according to deputy director of Đà Nẵng Department of Tourism Trần Chí Cường.
The coastal city has seen a significant increase in Chinese tourist arrivals over the last few years. It welcomed an estimated 211,000 Chinese visitors in the first half of 2016, up 83 per cent against the same period last year.
Chinese tour guides and tour operators have taken the opportunity to offer unauthorised services to Chinese holidaymakers to the city.
According to the country’s tourism regulations, foreign travel firms must work with Vietnamese agencies and use local tour guides if they want to bring tourists into the country.
Many Chinese nationals have been illegally working as tour guides for groups of Chinese visitors, even though the city has 19 international tour operators organising tours for Chinese vacationers and nearly 2,240 licensed Chinese-speaking tour guides.
The city tourism authority will work closely with communal and district authorities to tighten checks on local hotels, tour guides and tour operators so as to prevent them from helping foreigners conduct illegal travel business in the coastal city, Cường said on Friday.
Đà Nẵng has so far imposed a total VNĐ215 million in fines on 12 illegal foreign tour guides and one travel agency for breach of tourism regulations, Cường noted.
The city’s Department of Tourism held a meeting on June 30 with a number of local government bodies, including the police, departments of immigration, taxation, labour, and industry and trade; and district People’s Committees to discuss the problem.
It also hosted a meeting with the local Chinese-speaking tour guides on Friday to identify ways to improve their professional operation. — VNS