Changes cards to oversee tour guides’ qualifications
All 10,000 tour guides in the country will have to apply for new professional certificates in the next quarter in a drive by Vietnam's tourism authority to closely monitor the qualifications of the workforce, an official said.
Vu The Binh, head of the travel department under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, told the Daily on Tuesday that the ministry would issue a circular guiding the implementation of the Tourism Law, which requires all tour guides to apply for new professional cards in the second quarter of this year.
"We will issue the circular later this quarter, and all tour guides across the country will change or receive new electronic cards in the second quarter," he said.
These tour guides including 6,000 people holding professional cards to guide international tourists, and nearly 4,000 tour guides for domestic tourists, the latter having no profession cards but only certificates issued by their travel companies.
The requirement for such certificates has been provided for in the Tourism Law since 2005, but specific guidelines on the cards have not come out until now.
When the circular takes effects, 6,000 people holding professional cards should change for new cards that have three-year validity. Other tour guides for local travel will also receive professional cards for their activities.
All application forms will available on the tourism body's websites. The tour guides can download and send the forms to their cities' or provinces' tourism departments after filling them out.
"Our office will only accept forms from these departments and issue the card within 15 days upon receipt," Binh said.
When these new cards expire, cardholders will have to sit an exam to prove their qualification before having their certificates renewed.
"The condition aims to help the country's tourism sector keep up the tour guide's quality," Binh said.
The country's tourism last year catered to 23.4mil tourists comprising 4.2mil international tourists and 19.2mil domestic ones. The industry expects to receive 25.5-26.2mil tourists this year.