Amid complaints that crooked taxis are scaring away foreign tourists from Vietnam, the government is considering installing microchips in licensed taxis to ensure only they operate at major airports.
At a national meeting on tourism last week, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan ordered the Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Association for Information Processing to study the proposal.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has said the notoriety achieved by illegal taxis that rip off visitors is among the reasons for the decrease in international arrivals in the first quarter.
Around 1.8 foreigners visited the country during the period, 6.2 percent less than in the same period last year, it said.
It also blamed the higher prices of tourism services, a doubling of visa fees on January 1, and harassment and cheating by street vendors.
At the meeting, Nhan ordered the National Steering Committee for Tourism to strengthen oversight of tourism around the country.
The availability of clean toilets, improvement of rest stops along highways, and safety at tourist destinations like Hanoi, the northern province of Quang Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City need to be ensured, he said.
Last year toilets were available at 52 percent of tourist destinations, and this is expected to reach 100 percent this year.
Wi-fi networks have been set up outside hotels at major destinations like Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang, and Hoi An.
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