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New decree requires tour operators to post deposit

Update: June, 15/2007 - 00:00

New decree requires tour operators to post deposit

(16-06-2007)

HA NOI — Tour enterprises will be required to pay a VND250 million (US$15,625) deposit when registering to provide tours for foreign travellers, under Decree No 92/2007/ND-CP recently issued by the Government.

The amount of the deposit was set at half of the original level proposed by the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism in earlier drafts of the regulation.

The deposit was intended to cover damages to tourists in the event an enterprise violates its tour contracts as well as to cover risks of customers who do not carry travel insurance.

The decree also stipulates that a domestic tour business operator have at least three years’ experience and that an international tour operator have at least four years.

Regulations on other activities of tourism enterprises, including tourism promotions, providing travel classes or tour guides, and maintaining statistics on the numbers of tourists, are provided for in the decree.

Businesses providing travel services for foreign tourists were also ordered to hire staff who are licensed as international tour guides and stipulates conditions for issuing guide cards that supersede previous regulations on the issue in 24 months following issuance of the new decree.

Foreign enterprises seeking to open a representative office or branch in Viet Nam would have to prove their business bona fides and that they have been involved in the tour business for at least five years.

In the first five months of this year, Viet Nam attracted 1.8 million foreign tourists, up 12.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office. In May alone, inbound foreign arrivals amounted to 304,000, up 11.7 per cent.

More foreign tourists hailed from South Korea than from any other country, with about 223,000 arriving from South Korea in the first part of the year. — VNS

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