(Law No. 44/2005/QH11)
Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which was amended and supplemented under Resolution No. 51/2001/QH10 of the Xth National Assembly, 10th session, on December 25, 2001;
This law provides for tourism.
GENERAL PROVISIONS Article 1.- Scope of application
This Law provides for tourism resources and activities; rights and obligations of tourists, organizations and individuals doing tourism business and other organizations and individuals engaged in tourism-related activities.
Article 2.- Subjects of application
- Vietnamese and foreign organizations and individuals engaged in tourism activities in the territory of Vietnam;
- Agencies, organizations, individuals and local communities engaged in tourism-related activities.
Article 3.- Application of the law on tourism
- The subjects stipulated in Article 2 of this Law shall abide by the provisions of this Law and other relevant provisions of Vietnamese law.
- Where the treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party contain provisions different from those of this Law, the provisions of such treaties shall apply. In cases where the Vietnam laws or treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party do not stipulate, parties engaged in tourism activities may agree to apply international customs provided that as they are not against the fundamental principles of Vietnamese law.
Article 4.- Interpretation of terms
In this Law, the following terms are construed as follows:
- Tourism means activities connected with trips taken by people outside their habitual residences aimed at satisfying their needs for sightseeing, study, leisure or recreation in a certain period of time.
- Tourist means a person who travels for either tourism or for other purposes combined with tourism, except for those who go to study, work or practice their professions to get paid at the places of destination.
- Tourism activity means activities of tourists, organizations and individuals doing tourism business, local communities, agencies, organizations and individuals engaged in tourism- related activities.
- Tourism resources mean natural landscapes, natural elements, historical or cultural relics, works of creative human labor or humanity value which can be utilized to meet tourist needs and constitute a fundamental factor to form tourist resorts, tourist spots, tourist routes or tourist cities.
- Sightseeing means activities of a tourist during a day at a tourism-resourced area in order to experience and appreciate the values of tourism resources.
- Tourist city is a city having advantages to develop tourism and in which tourism plays an important part in its activities.
- Tourist resort is an area which has attractive tourism resources, with natural tourism resources as its advantage, and has been properly planned and invested for development with the aim of meeting the various demands of tourists and bringing about socioeconomic and environmental benefits.
- Tourist spot means a place having attractive tourism resources that satisfy the sightseeing demand of tourists.
- Tourist route means an itinerary which links various tourist resorts, tourist spots and tourist service-providing establishments associated with land, rail, waterway and air transport routes.
- Tourist product means a combination of necessary services provided in order to meet the needs of tourists during a trip.
- Tourist service means the provision of services in travel, transportation, accommodation, meals and drinks, entertainment, information, guidance and other services to satisfy the needs of tourists.
- Tourist accommodation establishment means an establishment which rents rooms and beds and provides other related services for guests, of which hotels constitute a major form.
- Tour program comprises an itinerary and services at tour price which has been fixed in advance for a tourist’s trip from its beginning to end.
- Travel business means the formulation, sale and organization of a part or the whole of a tour program for tourists.
- Tourist guiding means an activity of guiding tourists under a tour program.
A person who conducts the guiding activity is called a tourist guide and is paid for the tour guiding service.
- Specialized means of transport of tourists is a means with sufficient conditions to cater tourist services, which is used to carry tourists under a tour program.
- Tourism promotion means an activity of public information, publicity and marketing aimed at seeking and stimulating opportunities for tourism development.
- Sustainable tourism means development of tourism that meets the needs of the present without harming the ability of the future to meet tourism needs.
- Eco-tourism means a type of tourism that is based on nature, connected with the local cultural identity and with the participation of local communities for the sake of sustainable development.
- Cultural tourism means a type of tourism that is based on the national cultural identity with the participation of local communities in order to preserve and bring into full play their traditional cultural values.
- Tourist environment consists of natural and social ones where tourist activities take place.
Article 5.- Principles of tourism development
- To develop sustainable tourism in line with master plans and plans, ensuring harmony between socio-economic development and environmental protection; develop cultural and historical tourism and eco-tourism in priority and key regions; and conserve, embellish and promote the values of tourism resources.
- To ensure national sovereignty, national defense, security, social order and safety.
- To ensure national and community interests, legitimate interests, security and safety of tourists, and the lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals doing tourism business.
- To ensure the participation of all economic sectors and people of all strata in the cause of tourism development.
- To contribute to expanding foreign relations and international exchanges in order to promote the image of the country and people of Vietnam.
- To develop both domestic and international tourism with a view to attracting increasing numbers of foreign tourists to Vietnam.
Article 6.- Tourism development policies
- The State shall create mechanisms and adopt policies to mobilize every resource for increased investment in tourism development to ensure tourism is a national spearhead industry.
- The State shall implement incentive and preferential policies on land, finance and credit for foreign and domestic individuals and organizations investing in the following fields: a/ Protection and embellishment of tourism resources and environment;
b/ Tourism publicity and promotion;
c/ Training and development of human resources in tourism;
d/ Research into, and investment and development of, new tourism products;
e/ Modernization of tourism activities;
f/ Construction of tourism infrastructure, physical and technical facilities, importation of high-quality means for transportation of tourists and modern equipment exclusively used for high-graded tourist accommodation establishments and national tourist resorts. g/ Development of tourism in remote and isolated areas and in areas with socio-economic difficulties where there are tourism potentials so as to make use of the labor force, goods and services in the spot, contributing to raising the people’s intellectual level and to hunger elimination and poverty reduction.
- The State shall allocate budget for planning work; support investment in building infrastructures in tourist cities, tourist resorts and tourist spots and support tourism publicity and promotion, protection and embellishment of tourism resources and environment, research and application of science and technology, and training and development of human resources in tourism.
- The State shall create favorable conditions for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese to visit Vietnam for tourist purposes, for Vietnamese citizens and foreigners living in Vietnam to travel in and out of the country for tourist purposes, respecting and protecting the lawful rights and interests of tourists.
- The State shall create favorable conditions for organizations and individuals of all economic sectors and people of all strata to take part in tourism activities and enhance international exchanges and cooperation in tourism between Vietnam and other countries in the region and the world.
- The State shall encourage and create favorable conditions for the establishment of a Tourism Development Assistance Fund from the source of contributions of those who benefit from tourism activities as well as voluntary contributions of organizations and individuals at home and abroad.
The State shall specify tourism development policies provided for in this Article.
Article 7.- Participation of local communities in tourism development
- Local communities shall have the rights to participate in and enjoy lawful benefits from tourism activities; be responsible for preserving tourism resources and nurturing the local cultural identity; and maintaining security, safety, social order and environmental sanitation to generate the attractiveness of tourism.
- Local communities shall be provided with conditions to invest in tourism development, restoration and promotion of various traditional cultures, folklore arts, crafts, and production of local goods in service of tourists, contributing to raising the material and spiritual life of local inhabitants.
Article 8.- Tourism association
- The tourism association shall be established on the basis of voluntary participation of individuals and organizations engaged in tourism-related activities, protecting the lawful rights and interests and contributing to the development of its members.
- The tourism association shall take part in organizing tourism publicity and promotion activities and in formulating and disseminating the provisions of law on tourism.
- The organization and operation of the tourism association shall comply with the provisions of law on associations.
Article 9.- Protection of the tourism environment
- The natural and social humanity environment shall be protected, enhanced and developed with the aim of ensuring a green, clean, sound, safe, secure, wholesome and civilized tourism environment.
- Ministries and ministerial-level agencies shall, within the scope of their duties and powers, issue regulations in order to protect, enhance and develop the tourism environment.
- People’s Committees at all levels shall take measures to protect, enhance and develop the tourism environment in conformity with local conditions.
- Organizations and individuals doing tourism business must collect and treat wastes discharged during their business operations; remedy negative impacts on the environment caused by their business operations; and take measures to prevent and fight against social evils in their business establishments.
- Tourists, local communities and other organizations and individuals must protect and preserve landscapes, the environment, national cultural identity and fine national customs and practices, and behave in polite and civilized manners in order to promote the image of the country, people and tourism of Vietnam.
Article 10.- Scope of State administration of tourism
- To formulate, and direct the implementation of, tourism strategies, master plans, plans and policies on tourism development;
- To formulate, issue and direct the implementation of, legal documents, economic and technical norms and standards in tourism activities;
- To propagate, disseminate and educate laws and regulations, and provide information on tourism;
- To organize and manage the training of human resources, research into and application of sciences and technology.
- To conduct surveys and evaluation of tourism resources in order to formulate tourism master plans and identify tourist resorts, tourist spots, tourist routes and tourist cities;
- To undertake international cooperation in tourism and tourism promotion activities inside and outside Vietnam;
- To provide for the apparatus of state administration of tourism and coordination among relevant state agencies in state administration of tourism;
- To issue and withdraw licenses and certificates of tourism;
- To monitor, inspect and settle complaints and denunciations and handle violations of tourism law.
Article 11.-Responsibility for State administration of tourism
- The Government shall perform uniform State administration of tourism.
- The State administrative agency in charge of tourism at the central level shall be responsible for assisting the Government in performing State administration of tourism and organizing and coordinating with other state agencies in performing State administration of tourism.
- Ministries and ministerial-level agencies shall, within the scope of their duties and powers, and under the assignment of the Government, be responsible for coordinating with the central-level State administrative agency in charge of tourism in performing State administration of tourism.
- People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities (hereinafter referred to as provincial-level People’s Committees) must, within the scope of their duties and powers and under decentralization of the Government, perform State administration of tourism in
their localities; formalize tourism development strategies, master plans, plans, mechanisms and policies in conformity with local conditions; and take measures to ensure security, social order and safety, and environmental sanitation at tourist resorts, tourist spots, tourist routes and tourist cities.
Article 12.- Prohibited acts
- Causing harm to national sovereignty, national interests, defense, security, social order and safety, cultural traditions, ethics and fine national customs and practices.
- Constructing tourism projects which are not in compliance with approved tourism plans.
- Damaging tourism resources and environment;
- Discriminating against tourists and making illicit profits from tourists.
- Scrambling for customers or insisting on or forcing customers to purchase goods or services.
- Running a tourism business without license and registration or out of their registered business line or scope.
- Abusing the legal status of other organizations or allowing other persons to use their legal status to do illegal business.
- Abusing one’s position and powers to take bribes from, harass or trouble organizations or individuals doing tourism business or tourists.
Article 13.- Categories of tourism resources
- Tourism resources consist of natural and humanity tourism resources which are under exploitation or not yet exploited.
Natural tourism resources include elements of geology, topography, geomorphology, climate, hydrography, ecosystems and natural landscapes which can be used for tourism purposes.
Humanity tourism resources include cultural traditions; cultural factors; folk literature; historical, revolutionary, archaeological, and architectural relics; creative works by human beings; and other tangible and intangible cultural heritage which can be used for tourism purposes.
- Tourism resources may come under the ownership of the State or of organizations and individuals.
Article 14.- Surveys of tourism resources
The central-level State administrative agency in charge of tourism shall assume the prime responsibility for and coordinate with relevant State administrate agencies and provincial- level People’s Committees in conducting surveys, evaluation and classification of tourism resources for the formulation of tourism development master plans and to identify and promulgate tourist resorts, tourist spots, tourist routes and tourist cities.
Article 15.-Principles of protection and development of tourism resources
- Tourism resources shall be properly protected, enhanced and rationally exploited for effective utilization and sustainable tourism development.
- The State shall perform the uniform administration of tourism resources throughout the country and implement policies and take measures to protect, enhance and rationally exploit tourism resources.
Article 16.-Responsibility for administration, protection, embellishment and development of tourism resources
- The central-level State administrative agency in charge of tourism, ministries, ministerial-level agencies and People’s Committees at all levels shall manage tourism resources and coordinate with one another in protecting, rationally exploiting, utilizing, and developing tourism resources.
- State agencies, organizations and individuals that own or manage tourism resources shall protect, invest in and enhance these resources, and create conditions for tourists to visit and appreciate their values according to the provisions of law.
- Tourists, organizations, individuals doing tourism business and local communities must protect tourism resources.
- Organizations and individuals that own or manage tourism resources shall coordinate with competent state agencies in charge of tourism in utilizing and exploiting tourism resources for any other economic purposes, ensuring that these activities shall not lessen the attractiveness of tourism resources.