Vietnam to punish obnoxious Chinese tourists and guides

By Nguyen Dong   July 13, 2016 | 05:22 pm GMT+7

Telling false stories about Vietnam’s history. Burning Vietnamese currency. Yelling threats and slurs at airline staff. Stirring up chaos in buffet restaurants. Enough is enough.

Authorities in the central coastal city of Da Nang have promised not to discriminate against Chinese tourists, but they will not refrain from expelling people who behave badly, said the city’s Secretary of the Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Anh at a meeting on Tuesday.

“[We have noticed that] some tourists behave badly, like talking loudly in public,” said Ngo Quang Vinh, head of the city’s Tourism Department.

According to estimates, Chinese visitors account for 26 percent of the tourists who visit Da Nang. The surge has helped inflate the city’s budget revenues, said top official Nguyen Xuan Anh.

“However, authorities must strictly handle [violations]. Whoever comes here must follow Vietnamese law. Whether it is an organization or an individual who violates the law, the operating licenses [of any Vietnamese firm that works with illegal Chinese travel agents] will be revoked, or they will be expelled from Da Nang,” said Anh.

“We must be strict otherwise they will ignore [our law],” he added.

vietnam-to-punish-obnoxious-chinese-tourists-and-guides

Da Nang's Secretary of the Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Anh has promised no discrimination against Chinese tourists, but no violations will be ignored.

Last month, Da Nang suspended the business license of a travel agency for nine months after they offered tour services to a group of Chinese visitors who burned Vietnamese dong in a bar.

Vietnam’s tourism authorities have recently got tough by reigning in unlicensed Chinese tour guides after the media ran stories about some Chinese citizens working illegally as tour guides in Vietnam and telling false stories about the country’s culture and history.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said the ministry will revoke the business license of any Vietnamese firm that recruits illegal foreign tour guides.

It is estimated that there are currently about 60 Chinese guides are working illegally in Da Nang for travel companies registered to Vietnamese owners but actually run by Chinese people.

Six Chinese tour guides have already been fined hundreds of millions of Vietnamese dong, said tourism officials.

“The problem is that some Vietnamese travel companies and tour guides are colluding with Chinese partners so it is difficult to identify illegal tour guides,” Vinh added.

A sudden influx of Chinese tourists descending on Vietnam in the first six months of this year has put mounting pressure on the country’s tourism services.

Official statistics show that some 1.2 million Chinese travelers visited Vietnam in the first half of this year, jumping 83 percent from the same period last year.

Chinese tourists alone accounted for a quarter of the total number of international visitors to Vietnam, and half of them selected Da Nang as their destination of choice.

Da Nang is even considering publishing a booklet on etiquette aimed at Chinese tourists and calling on tour guides and agencies to instruct travelers to follow public order, maintain a clean environment, comply with the law, follow local customs, respect the rights of others and show courtesy.

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