How to know the difference between legal & illegal tour operators?
To operate travel operations and tours in Vietnam, A DMC must have a tour operator license granted by VNAT.
It is hard for foreign travel agents and tour operators to know the legal status of some agencies when establishing a business partnership or working with a DMC for the first time.
VNAT grants two licenses: “domestic” and ’international” tour operator
Domestic Tour Operators:
These tour operators operate tours for Vietnamese people in Vietnam only. A domestic tour operator in Vietnam is not legally liable for compensating clients should anything go wrong with a tour.
According to Vietnamese law, a Domestic License only allows a tour operator to trade and offer tours to people who are already in Vietnam, either as residents or visitors.It cannot offer tours to people in other countries, nor operate tours in any country other than Vietnam.
International Tour Operators:
An international tour operator in Vietnam is 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, the full-time licensed tour guide list and the entire business plan, must be submitted when applying to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism in order to check the company’s legal status and meet strict quality standards.
An important factor in obtaining an international license is the requirement to set up a secure account at a state bank and deposit a substantial cash bond 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.
Working with Luxury Travel Ltd. (www.luxurytravels.asia), your money is fully protected by VNAT and the Vietnam Administration of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
We are fully licensed by the Vietnam National Authority for Tourism (VNAT) as an International Tour Operator (license# 01-074 GPLHQT). The terms of our license require us to place a substantial cash bond in a secure account at Vietcombank (www.vietcombank.com.vn). The account has two signatories: Luxury Travel and the Vietnam National Authority for Tourism.
The money in the account is solely for compensating clients, and the Vietnam National Authority for Tourism will not allow Luxury Travel to withdraw money for any other purpose. If compensation has to be paid to a client, we are obliged to top up the bond to its original level immediately.