Vietnam to crack down on illegal foreign tour guides

By Doan Loan   July 7, 2016 | 12:01 am PT
Vietnam to crack down on illegal foreign tour guides
Chinese tour guides welcomes customers at Da Nang International Airport. Photo by Chinese tour guide.
Apparently, it’s aimed at the Chinese who have triggered widespread backlash over the past week.

Vietnam’s government has asked tourism-haven provinces to rein in the operations of travel agents and illegal foreign tour guides, in an apparent move aimed at tightening the screws on unlicensed Chinese tour guides accused of distorting Vietnam’s history and culture.

Those who capitalized on their tourist visas to work as illegal tour guides will have to be deported and declared persona non grata, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a directive on Wednesday, adding that such violations would also compromise the service quality and affect the image of Vietnam’s tourism industry.

The directive pointed the finger at two tourism hotspots of Da Nang and Khanh Hoa, where such violations have been reportedly rife. It asked all provinces that are set to receive an influx of Chinese tourists to compare notes with localities with experience on this matter to ensure the legitimate interests of the tourists.

The government directive came on the heels of recent media reports that unlicensed Chinese tour guides were attempting to inculcate distorted information about Vietnam’s history and culture into their Chinese tourists while showing them around in the central city of Da Nang

Local media reports quoted an anonymous Vietnamese guide as accusing many of the Chinese of describing Da Nang’s beaches as part of China’s seas. Another reportedly told a group of Chinese tourists that Vietnam is still a territory of China. In videos purportedly obtained from Vietnamese tour guides, Chinese tour guides were shown using yuan instead of dong.

Vietnam has received over 1.2 million Chinese tourists so far this year, a 48 percent year-on-year increase, official figures show.

Related news:

> Da Nang slaps fines on six illegal Chinese tour guides

> Travel agency fined after Chinese tourist burns Vietnamese money

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