Illegal Vietnam Tour Operators Earn Millions USD
Illegal Vietnam travel, when the demand for tours suddenly rises, are the harvesting time for illegal tour operators and some travel agencies earn nearly US$10 million from illegal operations.
Investigators of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) recently inspected tour operations related to groups of visitors at Hanoi’s Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature). In less than two hours, they discovered nearly ten cases of violations of the Tourism Law, mainly illegal international travel operations.
So far this year, VNAT has asked the Ministry of Public Security to expel 18 foreigners who illegally worked as tour guides in Vietnam.
VNAT’s investigation revealed 25 tour guides who violated the Tourism Law, six companies committed violations related to international travel services, and four illegal foreign tourism representative offices.
Vietnam Holidays, when demand for tours suddenly increases, are the harvesting time of illegal tour operators. Tourism inspectors have detected hundreds of cases in which companies and individuals offer illegal Vietnam travel services.
Recently, VNAT’s inspectors checked 22 branches and representative offices of foreign companies in Ho Chi Minh City and discovered ten of them selling tours to foreign visitors though they were not licenced to do so. Some branches earn nearly $10 million from these illegal operations.
The Minh Tiep Co, Ltd., located on Hang Bac Street, Hanoi, had been offering illegal travel services for a long time but its violation was detected when it sold a tour to ten foreigners to Ha Long Bay and one of them drowned there.
According to VNAT, Quang Ninh province, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have the highest numbers of illegal travel agents.
Pham Huynh Cong, Chief Inspector of VNAT, said that illegal Vietnam travel operations were in the following forms: (1) selling tours without the licence of travel business; (2) tour guides do not have tour guide cards (often occurring for tour guides for Korean, Russian, and Czech visitors); (3) employees of travel companies do business for themselves; (4) travel companies open many branches and offices and do not control them; (5) foreign companies open representative offices in Vietnam to sell Vietnam tours illegally.
Illegal Vietnam travel operations are headaches for tourism managers, said Mr. Cong. “They take advantage of the open mechanism of the Tourism Law to seek profit. If we don’t timely control illegal travel operations, the image of Vietnamese tourism sector will be affected,” said Mr. Cong.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said that the ministry would immediately take measures to curb illegal travel operations to make the tourism market healthy.
(Source: Tien Phong)