New regulation forces thousands of tourism bosses to return to school

VietNamNet Bridge - Circular 06/2017 released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism stipulates that from January 1, 2019, the managers of domestic and international travel firms must have associate or higher-level degrees in a travel major.


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If they don’t have an associate degree in travel, they must show certificates in domestic or international tour operations. 

The regulation is facing strong opposition from travel firms, which will have to spend money to fund their managers’ training courses for an associate degree.

Dao Van Chieu from Group Vietnam Travel complained that he has to attend a training course to obtain the degree, though he has a master’s degree in Vietnamese studies and a bachelor’s degree in business-tourism administration.

“Having higher education level, I am at risk of being ousted from the post of legal representative of my travel firm,” Chieu said, adding that he cannot understand why the watchdog agency sets up such an “absurd” regulation.

Circular 06/2017 released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism stipulates that from January 1, 2019, the managers of domestic and international travel firms must have associate or higher-level degrees in a travel major.

Chieu has been working in the tourism sector for 18 years, and has held high positions at many tourism firms, including Saigontourist and TTC Group.

TGT, director of a Hanoi-based tourism firm, confirmed that he has paid VND2.5 million to enroll in a class for exam preparation.

The director, who has 20 years of experience, graduated from the Tourism Faculty of the Hanoi Culture University. However, he still needs to go back to school because his training major was ‘tourism culture’.

“I don’t understand why I have to go back to school though I have been managing my company well,” he complained.

NVD, a director of a HCMC-based travel firm who gives lectures at several tourism schools, now has to return to school. 

Even those who studied tourism at overseas schools also have to go back to school to obtain the required degree, because the circular stipulates that the degrees granted by overseas training establishments must get recognition from the Ministry of Education and Training.

Meanwhile, someone who did not graduate from a Vietnamese or foreign school just needs to pay money and spend two days for exam preparation to be eligible to attend the exam for a degree and certificate.

Other CEOs of travel firms have also voiced the same complaint, saying that the new regulation would not protect travelers’ benefits as expected by state management agencies, and this could be seen as a kind of ‘sub-license’ that may hinder business development. 

Meanwhile, the PM has launched administrative reform and called on ministries to cut sub-licenses or unnecessary requirements.

According to VNAT, by the end of 2017, Vietnam had 1,752 firms providing international travel services.


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Chi Nam

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