– All Vietnamese tourism companies dealing with international travelers are required to obtain an international operating license. In practice, some ‘rogue’ companies do not apply. They touch tourists directly by using some sales channels like web forums, phone calls, direct encounter at some scenic areas. Some trendy illegal companies also make a simple travel website and contact the internet travelers directly! Nobody likes being cheated by unscrupulous companies that try to bend or break the rules. Tourists are highly advised to check the International Tour Operator License before making a payment if you don’t want to go through a shill.
How to know the difference between legal & illegal Tour Operators?
An International tour operator in Vietnam are legally bound to compensate clients if the company fails to fulfill its obligations. All the legal documents on the company such as the certificate of business registration, the certificate of tax registration, the full-time employee list, 3 full-time licensed tour guide list with social insurance and the entire business plan, those documents must apply to the Vietnam National Administration Of Tourism in order to check the company legal status ,also to meet strict quality standards.
Domestic Tour Operators in Vietnam are not legally liable to compensate clients should anything go wrong with a tour. They are often referred to as cafe tours – many domestic operators are located at foreign tourist centers and in backpacker hotels. The majority offer ‘open tours’ (i.e. regular group tours – customers buy a ticket a day or two in advance, or just turn up).
Although it’s illegal, practical difficulties in policing the industry means that some domestic tourism companies offer Vietnam tours to customers abroad. If a customer books a tour with a company without an international license, he or she would have no protection whatsoever were the company to mislead you, overcharge or fail to meet its obligations because Domestic Tour Operators are not allowed to make arrangement like International Tour Operators, they only sell products and receive commissions from the sales. Pham Tours Co., Ltd is not a travel agent like that, we with the International Tour Operator License have the right to do tours by ourselves. Book your travel with us, cutting out the middle man and saving your money.
Guarantee financial security
An important factor in obtaining an international license is a requirement to set up a secure account at a state bank and deposit a substantial cash bond of 250 million VN Dong = about 12,500.00USD to be used solely for the purposes of compensation. The Vietnam National Administration Of Tourism is a compulsory signatory, so no withdrawals can take place without VNAT’s official permission.