The administration of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, home to the world renowned beach city of Nha Trang, has begun enacting measures aimed at preventing Chinese nationals from illegally working as tour guides, stealing jobs from locals, and giving distorted accounts of Vietnam’s history.
Chinese arrivals to Khanh Hoa in the first half 2016 year topped 200,000, 4.5 times higher than the same period last year, with four out of ten international visitors to the province coming from China.
However, instead of using local tour guides, as required by law, Chinese visitors are being guided by fellow countrymen unlawfully working in the tourist industry and stealing jobs from locals, which local authorities have admitted is difficult to mitigate, causing negative impacts on the local tourism sector.
Several plans have been proposed by the Khanh Hoa tourism department to resolve the issue, director Tran Viet Trung told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.
The province’s administration has requested that local travel firms be committed to discontinuing the use of illegal foreign guides. “Four travel companies have signed the commitment and other will follow suit in the next couple of days,” Trung said.
The director added that his department will also work with local hotels to set a floor price for lodging services in the province so as to bar certain facilities from giving big discounts to Chinese customers.
In dealing with the illegal Chinese tour guides, Trung said the department will license 124 local Chinese-speaking guides from other localities to work in Khanh Hoa.
“We will publish the list of approved Vietnamese tourism employees on our website which travel firms can refer to when finding legal guides for their tours,” Trung added.
“We will also begin to require that each Chinese-only tourist group have one Vietnamese tour guide to stop the unauthorized Chinese from distorting our history and culture.”
The Khanh Hoa tourism department has revoked the license of four travel firms for breaching different tourism regulations, according to the official.
Of these, Fashion Vietnam Co. was fined for letting Chinese national Hung Zhe Hao lead Chinese tourists around the province, instead of a local tour guide.
Another violator, Silent Bay Co. Ltd., was sanctioned for using unlicensed tour guides and employing 64 foreigners without work permits.