Amendments to Law on Tourism discussed hinh anh 1The conference in HCM City on June 28 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Many provisions in the 2005 Law on Tourism are outdated and impractical in the context of global integration and needed to be revised, tourism experts have said.

The amendments would enable tourism to become a sector spearheading the economy, said Vu The Binh, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association.

The amended law should specify the roles and obligations of tourism associations in supporting the authorities in promoting tourism, hospitality and travel, he told a conference held in HCM City on June 28 to gather opinions from tourism associations and companies and other stakeholders.

The second draft of the revisions to law released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has many new provisions and amendments, including criteria for setting up travel agencies, operating tourist transport vehicles and ranking tourist accommodations.

Regulations related to investment policies as well as rights and obligations of tourists should be reviewed and amended to be more practical.

Provisions on the issue of tourist guide licences and international tourist guide cards will be amended to match occupational skills standards and the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals.

There is no agency responsible for overseeing nearly 20,000 certified tourist guides nationwide, Binh said.

Vu Quoc Tri, Director of an EU-funded environmentally and socially responsible tourism capacity development programme, said the law should have provisions on public-private partnerships such as co-operation between State agencies and tourism industry associations.

Principles related to responsible tourism should be added to tourism development policies, he said.

The law should provide a code of ethics for tourism stakeholders, he said.

The roles and responsibilities of tourism industry associations such as the Vietnam Tourism Association, Vietnam Society of Travel Agents and Vietnam Hotel Association should be spelled out in the revised law, he added.

Vo Anh Tai, General Director of giant travel operator Saigontourist, said scams and illegal travel agents were becoming increasingly common and badly affected the industry.

The revised law should have tough provisions to prevent illegal travel businesses, he said.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will tweak the draft based on the opinions of stakeholders before tabling the amendments in the National Assembly for approval.-VNA