|A tour guide with a group of tourists at the Central Post Office in HCM City. Photo Thu Hằng|Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Việt Nam Tourism Association is set to begin a programme this month in HCM City to rate tour guides, the first of its kind in the country.
The programme, which will get financial assistance from the EU, aims to evaluate the overall performance of tour guides but also improve their performance and service quality.
In a pilot phase until December, the Việt Nam Tour Guide Association will assess the performance of tour guides in HCM City, Hà Nội and provinces such as Quảng Ninh, Khánh Hòa and Lào Cai.
The assessment criteria will include guiding capacity, knowledge and skills and candidates will get ratings from three-star to five-star, according to Vũ Thế Bình, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Tourism Association.
In the pilot phase, only members of the Việt Nam Tour Guide Association would be eligible for the programme, he said.
It would be scaled up next year with the completion of regulations and criteria for ratings and all tour guides in the country would be encouraged to join, he said.
There are more than 23,000 licensed tour guides in the country, including 14,428 international guides and 8,412 domestic guides.
But only 5 per cent of them are contracted with travel firms and get monthly salaries and social insurance coverage, while the rest are freelancers. —VNS