Circular No. 89/2008/TT-BVHTTDL of December 31, 2008, guiding the implementation of the Governments Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP of June 1, 2007, which details the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Tourism regarding tour operation, Vietnam-

31/12/2008

THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE, SPORTS AND TOURISM
——-

SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence – Freedom – Happiness
———-

No. 89/2008/TT-BVHTTDL

Hanoi, December 30, 2008

 

CIRCULAR

92/2007/ND-CP OF JUNE 1, 2007, WHICH DETAILS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A NUMBER OF ARTICLES OF THE LAW ON TOURISM REGARDING TOUR OPERATION, VIETNAM-BASED BRANCH OFFICES AND REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES OF FOREIGN TOUR ENTERPRISES, TOUR GUIDING AND TOURISM PROMOTION

Pursuant to June 14, 2005 Law No. 44/2005/ QH11 on Tourism; and the Governments Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP of June 1, 2007. detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Tourism;
Pursuant to the Governments Decree No. 185/2007/ND-GP of December 25, 2007, defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism;
Pursuant to the Prime Ministers Decision No. 63/2008/QD-TTg of May 19, 2008. defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism;
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism guides the implementation of the Governments Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP of June 1, 2007, which details the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Tourism regarding tour operation. Vietnam-based branch offices and representative offices of foreign tour enterprises, tour guiding and tourism promotion, as follows:

I. TOUR OPERATION

1. Dossiers and procedures for the grant of international lour operator licenses comply with Article 48 of the Law on Tourism. The form of an application for the grant, renewal or re-grant of an international tour operator license is specified in Appendix I; the form of an international tour operation plan is specified in Appendix 2; and the form of an international tour operator license is specified in Appendix 3.

2. Re-grant of international tour operator licenses

a/ When an international tour operator license is lost, burnt or destroyed, the enterprise shall declare such to the police office in the locality where it is headquartered and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism within 7 days after detecting that the license is lost, burnt or destroyed.

Within 30 days after declaration, the enterprise shall submit an application for license re-grant, enclosed with the police offices certification of such declaration, to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, unless the lost license is found before the expiration of the time limit for applying for a new license.

 

c/ Within 10 working days after receiving an application for a new license under Points a or b of this Clause, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism shall consider the application and re-grant a license to the enterprise.

3. Tour operators defined in Article 12 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP of June 1, 2007, include directors or deputy directors of tour enterprises or heads of specialized tour units attached to tour enterprises, The form of declaration on a tour operators working duration in lour operation is provided in Appendix 4.

4. A domestic tour enterprise shall notify the time of commencing tour operation within 15 days after such commencement to the provincial-level Culture.

5. Report on the operation of a tour enterprise

 

 

6. Foreign-invested tour enterprises

a/ Foreign-invested tour enterprises may be established in the form of joint ventures between foreign service providers and Vietnamese partners, without restriction on foreign partners capital contributions.

Vietnam and may only employ lour guides who are Vietnamese citizens permanently residing in Vietnam.

 

– A valid copy of the investment certificate;

– The tour operation plan and tour programs for international tourists in Vietnam;

– Papers evidencing the working duration of the lour operator;

– Valid copies of international tour guide licenses and labor contracts of three lour guides;

– A valid copy of the certificate of the deposit paid for international lour operation.

II. VIETNAM-BASED BRANCH OFFICES AND REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES OF FOREIGN TOUR ENTERPRISES

1. Agencies which grant, re-grant, modify, supplement, extend or revoke licenses for Vietnam-based branch offices or representative offices of foreign tour enterprises (below referred lo as licensing agencies) include:

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism which shall grant licenses for Vietnam-based branch offices of foreign tour enterprises (below referred to as branch offices).

 

2. Responsibilities of licensing agencies

a/ To grant, re-grant, modify, supplement, extend or revoke licenses for Vietnam-based branch offices or representative offices of foreign tour enterprises under Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP.

 

Ministrys guidance.

 

e/ To assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with competent state agencies in, examining and supervising the organization and operation of branch offices and representative offices; to detect and handle according to their competence or propose competent agencies to handle according to law violations committed by branch offices or representative offices.

 

g/ Provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Services shall monthly update information on the grant, re-grant, modification, supplementation, extension or revocation of licenses for local-based representative offices of foreign tour enterprises, using the information management software mentioned at Point f, Clause 2, Section II of this Circular, and report thereon to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

 

3. Conditions on dossiers for the grant, re-grant, modification, supplementation or extension of a branch office or representative office license

a/ Papers issued or certified by competent foreign agencies, for dossiers of branch offices or representative offices specified in Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP and this Circular, must be consularly legalized under Vietnamese law and translated into Vietnamese; their translations and copies must be notarized under Vietnamese law.

 

4. Dossier of application for the grant, re- grant, modification, supplementation or extension of a branch office or representative office license

 

Vietnam based branch office or representative office shall submit an application, made according to the form provided in Appendix 8.

c/ Other documents of equivalent legal validity under Clause 3, Article 22 of Decree No 92/2007/ND-CP, including a written certification of the fulfillment of tax or financial obligations in the latest fiscal year, issued by a competent agency in the locality where the foreign tour enterprise is established, or other documents, issued by a competent independent organization certifying the existence and operation of the foreign tour enterprise in the latest fiscal year.

5. Form and serial number of a branch office or representative office license

 

 

 

– The provinces code consists of 2 digits specified in Appendix 10 as prescribed by the General Statistics Office;

– The representative offices ordinal number consists of 4 digits, from 0001 to 9999;

 

6. Grant of a branch office or representative office license

 

Ministrys guidance.

7. Cases ineligible for grant of a branch office or representative office license

Agencies in charge of granting a branch office or representative office license will not grant these licenses to foreign tour enterprises in the following cases:

 

 

 

8. A foreign tour enterprise having its branch office or representative office license revoked under Clause 1, Article 29 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP may apply for the re-grant ol such license only 2 years after the issuance of the revocation decision.

9. The form of notice of the time of commencing operation, relocating the head office or replacing the head of a branch office or representative office is provided in Appendix 11; the forms of regular reports on the operation of Vietnam-based branch office and representative office of a foreign tour enterprise are provided in Appendices 12 and 13; and the form of notice on the termination (projected termination) of operation of a branch office or representative office is provided in Appendix 14.

10. Operations of a branch office

A branch office may represent the enterprise to conduct operations indicated in its license in accordance with Clause 1, Article 27 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP.

11. Operations of a representative office

 

 

c/ To conduct market survey for increasing opportunities to trade, supply and use tourist services of the foreign enterprise it represents.

 

 

III. TOUR GUIDING

1. Conditions on professional qualifications of lour guides

a/ For domestic tour guides defined al Points b and c, Clause 3, Article 32 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP:

– A person with a university or higher-degree diploma in a tourism discipline but not in the tour guiding discipline must possess a one-month tour-guiding training certificate issued by a competent training institution;

– A person with a secondary or collegial diploma in a tourism discipline but not in the tour guiding discipline or with a university or higher-degree diploma in the economics, social science or humanity discipline must possess a two-month tour-guiding training certificate issued by a competent training institution;

– A person with a secondary or collegial diploma in another discipline or with a university or higher-degree diploma in the natural science or technical-technological science must possess a three-month tour-guiding training certificate issued by a competent training institution.

b/ For international tour guides defined at Point c, Clause 2, Article 33 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP:

– A person with a university or higher-degree diploma in a tourism discipline but not in the tour guiding discipline must possess a one-month tour-guiding training certificate issued by a competent training institution;

– A person with a university or higher-degree diploma in the economics or social science must possess a two-month tour-guiding training certificate issued by a competent training institution;

– A person with a university or higher-degree diploma in the natural science or technical-technological science must possess a three-month tour-guiding training certificate issued by a competent training institution.

c/ Persons with tour-guiding experience and knowledge who cannot attend any tour-guiding training courses specified at Points a and b of this Clause will be issued tour-guiding training certificates after passing examinations organized by competent training institutions and satisfying the requirements on tour-guide skills.

 

Detailed tour-guiding training programs shall be formulated on the basis of the framework tour-guiding training program, promulgated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and tailored to the required training time and eligible trainees.

 

– Training institutions which provide specialized training on tourism and tour guiding shall register with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism the organization of tour-guiding training courses as well as examinations and issuance of tour-guiding training certificates. A registration dossier comprises a copy of lite training license granted by a competent agency under law; a detailed tour-guiding training program; a list of trainers; and an official letter registering the training of tour guides;

– The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism shall examine the training of tour guides and the issuance of tour-guiding training certificates by tour-guiding training institutions,

– After each training course, examination, and issuance of tour-guiding training certificates, a training institution shall send a report on the results of such training, examination and issuance to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

 

2. Conditions on foreign language skills of international tour guides

a/ Foreign language certificates specified at Point c, Clause 3, Article 33 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP cover:

– A certificate of TOEFL of a score of at least 500 points, IELTS of the overall band of at least 5.5 points, or TOEJC of a score of at least 650 points, for English; or equivalent certificate, for other foreign languages;

– A certificate of completion of a foreign-language skill examination, issued by a compcleni training institution.

 

– Tertiary-level foreign-language (raining institutions shall register with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism the organization of foreign-language skill examinations for, and issuance of foreign language certificates to, international tour guides. A registration dossier comprises a copy of the training license, granted by a competent agency under law; a set of exam questions on the required foreign language skills of international lour guides according lo regulations of the Ministry of Culture. Sports and Tourism; and an official letter registering the organization of examinations;

– Foreign-language training institutions eligible for organizing foreign-language skills examinations

3. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism shall provide separate guidance for tour guides to markets with specific requirements.

4. Regular refresher courses for tour guides

a/ The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism shall formulate programs and contents for regular refresher courses for tour guides in order to update them on national and local socio-economic and tourism development guidelines and policies, and on new tourist products.

b/ Provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Services shall coordinate with training institutions defined at Point e, Clause 1, Section III of this Circular in organizing regular refresher courses for, and issuing certificates to, tour guides.

 

Ministrys guidance.

5. Grant, renewal or re-grant of a tour guide license

 

b/ Upon receiving a valid dossier of application for the gram, renewal or re-grant of a tour guide license, the provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Service shall examine the dossier and enter data on tour guides in its system under the guidance provided at the Vietnam National Administration of Tourisms website on lour guide management.

– If the conditions for license grant, renewal or re-grant are fully satisfied, the provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Service shall issue a decision on such grant, renewal or re-grant and send an electronic report thereon to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

– If the conditions for license grant, renewal or re-grant are not fully satisfied, the provincial-level Culture. Sports and Tourism Service shall issue a written reply to the applicant, clearly

Ministrys guidance.

 

 

6. Narrators

 

 

– Having the Vietnamese nationality, residing in the locality or working in a tourist site or spot:

– Having the full civil act capacity;

– Being physically fit for working as a narrator;

– Having attended a training course on tourism;

– Committing to strictly abiding by the tourist sites or spots rules and the tourism sectors regulations.

 

– Provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Services shall collaborate with tourist site or spot management bodies in organizing refresher courses on tourism for and issuing narrator certificates to narrators;

– Provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Services shall biannually report on the issuance of narrator certificates to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

IV. TOURISM PROMOTION

1. National tourist database

a/ The national tourist database consists of information and data on legal documents on tourism; lists of tourist resources, tourist sites or spots; lists and addresses of tour enterprises and lour accommodation establishments; lists of, time and places for organizing, tourist events and festivals; lists of tourist projects calling for investment; the system of tourist training schools, market research results, tourisi statistics, and other relevant information and data.

 

 

2. Tourism promotion programs

a/ A tourism promotion program includes tourism promotion activities planned for five-year and annual periods in line with tourism development strategies and master plans so as to propagate, advertise and introduce the Vietnamese country and people, raise public-awareness about tourism, promote tourism development and attract domestic and foreign tourists.

 

 

 

3. Supply of tourist information at international border gates

 

 

4. Tourism propagation and advertisement products

a/ Tourism propagation and advertisement products include paintings, photos, advertisement boards, books, leaflets, brochures, maps, video and audio tapes and discs, posters, banners, banderoles and souvenirs which are produced and distributed for propagating and advertising Vietnams tourism.

The contents of a tourism propagation and advertisement product must be in line with the published national tourist database and comply with laws on advertisement and publications.

 

5. National Year of Tourism

a/ The National Year of Tourism is a general tourist-cultural event with tourist activities conducted in different localities nationwide in order to advertise and introduce tourist destinations, new tourist products, and tourist resources which have been being exploited, for tourist attraction purposes.

 

 

6. Tourist fairs and exhibitions

 

 

– Organizers of tourist fairs or exhibitions in Vietnam shall register with provincial-level Culture, Sports and Tourism Services in the localities where they plan to organize tourist fairs or exhibitions;

– Organizers of Vietnamese tourist fairs or exhibitions overseas shall register with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism;

– The deadline for registration is October 1 of the year preceding the year when a fair or exhibition is planned to be organized and 6 months before it takes place.

 

– An application of registration to organize a tourist fair or exhibition, made according to the form provided in Appendix 18;

– A plan to organize a fair or exhibition, indicating the name, theme, time, place, projected scope and method of organization, and its funding sources;

– A valid copy of the business registration certificate, for enterprises;

– Documents evidencing the fair and exhibition organization capability and experience;

 

 

 

 

– To select a place suitable to the characteristics and scope of a tourist fair or exhibition;

– To maintain order, security, social safely, traffic safety and environmental sanitation, and satisfy conditions on fire and explosion prevention and fighting;

– To promulgate regulations on.

7. Destination survey programs

a/ Destination survey programs shall be organized for information and press agencies, tour firms and foreign investors in Vietnam with a view to propagating, advertising, and seeking opportunities to develop Vietnams tourism.

 

 

– To formulate survey programs in line with tourism promotion objectives, strategies, plans and programs;

– To realize the contents of survey programs under current law;

– To report on the results of surveys lo designated agencies within 10 days after finishing a survey program.

 

 

8. Tourism propagation and advertisement in special cases

 

Opportunities: important international and national events to be organized in Vietnam; visits by world famous personalities;

Challenges: natural disasters and serious epidemics; terrorism and terrorist threat.

 

V. ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION

1. Effect

This Circular takes effect 15 days after its publication in CONG BAO. Previous regulations which are contrary to this Circular are all annulled.

2. Transitional provisions

a/ Enterprises with domestic tour operation registration certificates, international tour operator licenses or licenses for Vietnam-based branch offices or representative offices of foreign tour enterprises granted before the effective date of this Circular may still operate but shall supplement conditions on tour operation or establishment of branch offices or representative offices, and carry out procedures for the renewal of their licenses within 6 months after this Circular takes effect.

 

c/ Persons possessing temporary tour guide licenses granted before the effective date of this Circular shall carry out procedures for the grant of lour guide licenses within 3 months after this Circular takes effect.

d/ Three months after this Circular takes effect, training institutions previously authorized by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to organize tourism-related foreign language skill training courses and issue tourism-related foreign language certificates shall cease such training and issuance; the issued certificates which remain valid (within 12 months after issuance) can still be used for the grant of international tour guide licenses.

3. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism shall guide and inspect the implementation of this Circular.

4. Any problems arising in the course of implementation should be promptly reported to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for study, guidance and amendment.

 

 

MINISTER OF CULTURE, SPORTS AND TOURISM

Hoang Tuan Anh

*Note: All the above-mentioned appendices are not printed herein.

 

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