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Tourism Law 2017 is expected to better manage tourism

The Hanoitimes - The law will come in force in January 01, 2018.

The Tourism Law was passed by the National Assembly on June 19, 2017. The Law covered tourism development policies, tourists, tour operators and tour guide in the context of making tourism as a national spearhead industry.

The 2017 Tourism law consists of 9 chapters and 78 articles, while the 2005 version of the Law contained 11 chapters and 88 articles. The law is expected to promote tourism development and improve services. At the same time, the law focuses on creating a transparent, fair and competitive environment for tourism businesses, improving professionalism in tour guidance and protecting rights of tourists. In addition to comply with Vietnamese law, the Tourism Law stipulates Vietnamese tourists to behave mannerly and abide by the legislations of the destination country while traveling abroad. The Tourism Law also ensures the quality of tourism services through regulations on issuing domestic tour license, listing qualification requirements for tour operators, removing the clause on tourist enterprise to have labor contract with 03 tourist guides with ID cards. This is seen as a rational step, as the number of tour guides depends on the market and should not be fixed. Overall, the law is revised in the direction of procedure simplification, creating conditions for enterprises to register their businesses easily. With regard to tourism development policies, the Law clearly defines the fields of priorities for the government to support (Article 5); the enhanced role of the Tourism Association with specific responsibilities (Article 7); and tourists’ rights protection (Articles 10-14). In particular, the Law specifies the role of enterprises in tour product development, enhances tourist safety, and community based tourism development. Master plan on tourism is also presented in details and in conformity with the tourism development plan (Articles 20-21). On the other hand, regulation on recognition of tourism accommodations, tourism spots, as well as the management of accommodations are simplified, with clear responsibilities and rights of all related parties (Articles 27-28). There are also numerous changes to tourism business. This Law also removes the regulation on the establishment of tourism promotion office abroad; instead, it empowers the role of organizations and enterprises in this regards. The Tourism Development Assistance Fund is stipulated more specifically in terms of objectives, responsibilities and financed from three sources (government, voluntary and other legal financial resources). Another change made to the Law is state management, which regulates the management function of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism (MCST), the People’s Committees and related agencies. Observers evaluate that the Law as an improved and updated version of the 2005 Tourism law with additional provisions and reflected the current situation of the country. The law once again has emphasized the government objective of transforming tourism into a national spearhead industry. After the issuance of the 2017 Tourism law, the MCST is working on the follow up legal procedures and promoting the law to enterprises and tourism staffs working , as well as related organizations and individuals to ensure the Law’s effectiveness when coming into force.

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