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The Tourism Law only focuses on managing inbound tourism, while keeping loosened control over outbound tourism.
According to the Vietnam Travel Association, there are about 1000 international travel firms, of which only 30 percent of firms bring foreign tourists to Vietnam, while the other 70 percent of firms specialize in bringing Vietnamese travelers abroad.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Law has been concentrating on the management over inbound tours, while keeping a loosened control over outbound tours – the channel, through which foreign currencies have been flowing out from Vietnam.
Vu The Binh, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association said on Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon that millions of Vietnamese people travel abroad every year, which brings billions of dollars a year in turnover to outbound tourism, while the spending by Vietnamese people during their trips is relatively big.
In the last few years, outbound tours have been considered as the reason that caused the “foreign currency bleeding.” Therefore, outbound tourism has not been mentioned in the reports about tourism development.
“In case travel firms have to take insurance policies for outbound travelers, they only buy the service packages which offer very low compensation rates in case of accident, and they never show the exact compensation rates,” Binh noted.
There have been no statistics, survey or strict regulations about outbound tourism - about the number of travelers, their spending, insurance and security relating issues.
According to Binh, about 2 million Vietnamese people travel abroad every year that spend some 2 billion dollars a year.
The representative of a travel firm said that while inbound tours help bring millions of foreign travelers to Vietnam, thus bringing billions of dollars worth of turnover to the country, and bear strict control by the State, outbound tourism, which is believed to cause the foreign currency bleeding, only bears loosened management.
For example, every travel firm has been told to have at least three guides. However, they are not compulsorily required to have long term labor contracts. As the tour guides at the firms just need to sign labor contracts with the employers, they may work for many different enterprises.
Phung Quang Thang from the Vietnam Travel Association said on Cong Thuong newspaper that at many travel firms, there has been no tour guide who works under the long term labor contracts. No state management agency has been assigned to supervise the implementation of the regulation on 3 tour guides, which explains why the regulation about tour guides has never been respected.
Binh, while pointing out the shortcomings of the Tourism Law and the legal framework, said that this is understandable for Vietnam, which still does not have much experience in developing tourism and do not have long term vision when compiling laws. Especially, as the country has been integrating more deeply into the world, a lot of provisions have become out of date, which need to be amended.
Therefore, Thang said that it would be better to tell the differences between inbound and outbound tourism and set up reasonable regulations on the two types of business. It’s necessary to give priority to inbound tourism and impose strict control over outbound tourism.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Tien Viet, an expert, has suggested setting up tourism inspection division, which is in charge of the enforcement of the laws.
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