Twenty travel companies were fined and another had its business licence revoked for 18 months for violating administrative regulations in travel business activities in 2017, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
The firms’ violations were mainly failure to set up and store documents, use of tour guides without labour contracts, lack of tour guides, and having no report of travel operations to authorised agencies.
During the year, inspectors from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conducted inspections at 55 agencies in seven provinces and cities, namely Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kien Giang, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vinh Long, Tien Giang and Quang Ninh, which are popular tourism destinations in the country.
A series of measures were also taken to improve the quality of travel services and human resources; and enhance inter-sectorial coordination and management work.
About 13 million foreigners chose Vietnam as their holiday destination in 2017, a year-on-year rise of nearly 3 million. Meanwhile, the sector served 73.2 million domestic tourists. It earned 510.9 trillion VND (22.5 billion USD) from tourism activities this year.
At a recent meeting in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the state steering committee for tourism, asked the tourism sector to improve products, accommodation facilities, manpower, while devising appropriate strategies and plans.
More attention should be paid to quality, he noted, stressing that it must successfully carry out the plan on restructuring the tourism sector so as to develop tourism into a spearhead economic industry.