HA NOI — Individuals or tour agents lending or hiring out their international travel business licences will be fined up to VND40 million (US$1,900) in efforts to better regulate the tourism sector.
The move forms part of Decree 16/2012/ND-CP issued on March 12 to replace the 2007 version.
Tour agents employing foreigners to work as guides in Viet Nam will be fined VND10-15 million ($470-710) while a the lowest fine of VND500,000-1 million ($24-48) will be given to those not displaying official identification.
Previous fines came in at between VND200,000 ($9.5) and VND30 million($1,430).
The new decree also states that tourist guides presenting incorrect information on Viet Nam's history, culture and people will be fined VND5-10 million ($240-480).
"The new decree better meets present social and economic conditions," said Vu Xuan Thanh, chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Accordingly, inspectors can withdraw the work licences of those already fined with VND30 million ($1,430).
Hanoian tourist Phung Hong Anh said stricter punishment would help ensure quality amongst tour agents.
However, tourist guides complained that punishment levels were too high.
A tourist guide from Hai Au Tourist Services said it is unreasonable to fine a guide VND500,000 ($24) for not carrying a card.
The decree will be put into effect during April this year. — VNS