Karate kids to protect tourists in Saigon

By Huu Nguyen   July 21, 2016 | 01:52 am PT
Karate kids to protect tourists in Saigon
Beware, thieves! The new generation of Jackie Chans is on the case.

Youths who volunteer for the tourist protection force in Saigon will be equipped with motorbikes, walkie-talkies and cameras, and receive martial arts training to work at tourist hot spots.

The city will also increase the number of volunteers and security forces stationed where disorder, overcharging and robberies are common, as well as at festivals and fairs.

Information about laws and regulations will be included in the training program.

In order to support volunteers financially, the city is encouraging businesses located in popular tourist spots to make donations to the force.

According to the city's Tourism Department, over the past years, the tourism sector has contributed from 9-11 percent of the local state budget. However, many problems need to be solved, such as rip-offs and robberies.

Last year, the department received diplomatic notes from Australia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan reporting cases of their citizens being robbed in the city. Among them, 83 cases were Japanese citizens and 73 were Australians.

The city has asked the government to establish a specialized police force to protect tourists. While the proposal is awaiting approval, the city will punish businesses and travel companies that con customers.

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