Embassy of vietnam Vietnam holidays, tours, hotels and other travel: Re: vietnam travel : Vietnam allows 27 firms to serve Lao, Thai tourists

Re: vietnam travel : Vietnam allows 27 firms to serve Lao, Thai tourists

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The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has announced a list of 27
companies permitted to provide services for Thai and Lao visitors to the
country's central region.

The companies are mostly based in Danang, Quang Tri, Nghe An and Thua Thien-Hue
on the central coast, and affiliated to a club comprising tourism services firms
in the central region, which debuted late last year.

VNAT said only the club members can arrange tours for Lao and Thai people to the
country via the border gates of Nam Can, Cau Treo, Cha Lo and Lao Bao. Other
companies wanting to organize cross-border tours must cooperate with the club
members.

The list has been sent to relevant authorities in seven central provinces –
Danang, Quang Nam, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue and Ha Tinh.

Cao Tri Dung, chairman of the club said that the club applied the minimum prices
for three popular overland tours designed for Thai and Lao guests, ranging from
US$105 to US$170 per person. The club has worked out many joint programs to
promote places of interest.

"We hold 99% market share (in the central region), so we need better services
and more marketing activities to retain and develop the market. In the past, we
had few activities to promote services and build tourism products," Dung said.

According to him, more than 200,000 Thai and Lao tourists traveled to the
country by road last year.

Nguyen Quy Phuong, Deputy Director of the Travel Department under VNAT, said the
decision to allow only the club members to organize overland tours for Thais and
Laotians would apply in short term.

"This decision is designed to find ways to resolve the problems that have
plagued the tourism sector in the central region, such as price undercutting and
unfair competition. So the club will have to expand its membership," he said.

Phuong said VNAT and authorities in the seven provinces had many times met to
seek a way out and that in the end, all the parties concerned agreed to
encourage travel firms to club together to better serve tourists and condemn bad
competitive practices among tourism firms.

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