New guiding provisions in the Tourism Law 2017

Monday - 27/05/2019 04:01
The Law on Tourism 2017 has been adopted by the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and takes effect from 01/01/2018. The Law of Tourism consists of 9 chapters, 78 Articles, in which the tourist guide is an important content.

The Tourism Law of 2017 has reserved a chapter with 9 articles for the tour guide. These regulations have absorbed the spirit of Tourism Law 2005, and added some new contents to make good conditions for the tour guide as well as protect the interests of the tour guide and related subjects.

1. Classification of guides

The Law on Tourism 2017 stipulates that there are three participants in the tour guide, namely domestic tour guides (serving domestic tourists being Vietnamese citizens nationwide); International tour guides (serving domestic tourists, international tourists to Vietnam in the whole country and bringing tourists abroad) and tour guides at the point (serving tourists in tourist resorts, tourist spots). Tour guides at the point of fact are the travel interviewers whose names are identified in accordance with international practices so as to avoid overlapping with the museum's narrator force and at the same time clearly show the role and nature of the tour guide work in the tourist sites, tourist resort.

2. Conditions for granting tour guide cards.

The Law on Tourism 2017 inherits the regulations on the issuance of general cards for all three types of tour guides of the Law on Tourism 2005, namely: Having Vietnamese nationality, permanently residing in Vietnam; Having full civil act capacity; No infectious diseases, no drug use.

The Law on Tourism 2017 continues to maintain the level of education for domestic tour guides: graduated from secondary school or higher. However, the regulations on the qualifications of domestic tour guides are different from those stipulated in the 2005 Tourism Law, not only those with intermediate professional degrees, but also those who have graduated from secondary vocational education, also are eligible for a domestic tour guide card.

Tourism Law 2017 changes the conditions of educational level for international tour guides: if the 2005 Tourism Law requires international tour guides to have a university degree or higher, the Law on Tourism Schedule 2017 provides that college or university graduates are eligible to receive an international tour guide card. The new regulation of the Law on Tourism 2017 aims to create more favorable conditions to attract more trained workers to take part in the tourism profession, to meet the demands of tourists, workers and the training practice in our country today. Similar regulations for domestic tour guides, graduates of professional colleges or vocational colleges  or higher qualified for the level of education to be issued international tour guide cards.

Those who do not specialize in tour guides, instead of stipulating courses of one month, two months and three months according to the provisions of the 2005 Tourism Law, the Tourism Law of 2017 stipulates that the applicant for tour guide card. Inland tours must have certificates of domestic tour guides, applicants for international tour guide cards must possess international tour guide certificates.

For tour guides at points, the Law on Tourism does not stipulate the requirements for qualification for tour guides at points. In order to be granted a card, the applicant must satisfy the requirement for inspection of the tour guide service at the place organized by the provincial-level tourism specialized agency. The Tourism Law continues to empower provincial-level tourism specialized agencies to issue tour guide cards at points.

3. Conditions for practicing tour guides

There are many changes in the practice of tour guides compared to the provisions of the 2005 Tourism Law. The Tourism Law 2017 supplemented the regulations on conditions of professional practice to enable the tour guide freely to choose to register with management organizations (travel business enterprises, guiding service enterprises or socio-professional organizations). Specifically, tour guides are allowed to practice only when they meet all three conditions:

(1) have tourist guide card;

(2) Having a labor contract with a travel business enterprise, enterprise providing tour guide services, a tour guide or a member of a social organization on tour guide for international travel and domestic tour guides;

(3) Having a guiding contract with a travel business enterprise or an assignment  writting according to the tour program, there must be assignment of organizations and individuals managing tour resorts and tour spots for tour guides at points.

Regulations on tour guides in the Law of Tourism 2017 demonstrate the spirit of improving the vocational level and sense of responsibility of tour guides in guiding activities. The Law of Tourism 2017 also stipulates the rights and obligations of tour guides and the responsibility of managing tour guides of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, provincial tourism agencies and travel service business enterprises., offer enterprises to travel guide service.

Currently, only a number of tour guides have labor contracts with tour operators, the majority of tour guides are independent and not members of one of the organizations listed above. . In order to ensure the continuity of tourism actvities in general, travel activities and travel guides in particular, the establishment of social-professional organizations on tourism guidance to create opportunities for tour guides practicing in an organized and lawful manner is imperative.  Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has written to request the Department of Tourism, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the provinces to take measures to establish social-professional organizations to guide tourism in the localities. (Official Letter No. 1342 / TCDL-LH dated October 27, 1977), helping to protect the interests of trainers, training and upgrading skills and professional skills for tour guides. At the same time coordinate to checks, monitor the activities of the tour guide in compliance with the law.

In parallel with sending the Official Letter to the Department of Tourism, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the provinces, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has issued Official Letter No. 1343 / TCDL-LH dated October 27 to Vietnam Tourism Association recommending to consider the establishment of the Vietnam tour guide Association to facilitate the operation of the tour guide as well as help protect the interests of the tour guide and tour operators, for tourists, contributing to bring the Law of Tourism 2017 to life.

On 03/11/2017, the Vietnam Tour Guide Association has officially launched, announces the decision to establish the Vietnam Tour Guide Association, announces the Executive Board of the Association and promulgates the operation implementation plan in late 2017 and 2018. Vietnam Tour Guide Association is headquartered in Hanoi and two representative offices in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. The establishment of the Vietnam Tour Guide Association is necessary and timely, it helps to introduce jobs, support activities, protect the interests of tour guides as well as help the state agencies manage operation of the tour guide force.

4. Time limit for tour guide cards

The Law on Tourism 2017 stipulates that international tour guide cards and domestic tour guide cards have a term of 5 years and a longer period of use than the provisions of the 2005 Tourism Law. When expired, tour guides may change their cards if they have passed the periodical refresher training courses for tour guides granted by competent state agencies.

For tourist guide cards at points, the Tourism Law of 2017 does not specify the duration of use. The use of tour guide cards at points depending on the needs of the management agencies of resorts, tour destinations and tour guides at points.

The above are some important contents of the Law on Tourism in the field of tourism guide. With the spirit of innovation, openness and integration, the Law on Tourism and other documents guiding the implementation of the Law on Tourism will contribute positively to the development of the sector.

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