The Department of Tourism in HCM City will strengthen management and inspection of travel and hospitality companies to ensure an attractive and safe tourism environment, La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the department, has said.
Last year the department conducted 200 inspections and imposed total fines of VND2.54 billion (US$113,000) on 148 firms and individuals, including 40 travel agents, 89 hotels and 19 tour guides, Khanh said at a conference held yesterday to review the department's performance.
Most of the violators were unlicensed inbound and outbound operators, unlicensed tour guides and hotels that had no star ranking assessment.
Last year, a total of 115 firms were registered as new travel operators, raising the number of travel agents in the city to 1,065.
HCM City expects to increase international arrivals by 10.8 per cent to 5.1 million foreign tourists this year, Khanh said.
The city also targets to attract 21.8 million domestic visitors this year, a year-on-year rise of 12.9 per cent,
It also aims to increase tourism revenue to VND 104 trillion (US$4.6 billion) this year from VND 94.6 trillion (US$4.2 billion) in 2015, Khanh said.
This year, the city will focus on promoting tourism in the domestic market and such foreign markets as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UK, France, Germany, the US, Australia, India, Russia and Russian-speaking countries and the Middle East.
Last year, the city welcomed 4.6 million international visitors, up 4.6 per cent compared to 2014.
The number of domestic tourists rose by 13 per cent compared to 2014 to reach 19.3 million.
The US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, mainland China, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, Singapore, and France are among the city's leading tourism markets.