During a Wednesday review of Vietnam's existing Tourism Laws, National Assembly members called for the creation of a police force dedicated to protecting visitors.
"Tourists should know who to contact in case they need help," VnExpress quoted Vu The Binh, deputy chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association, as saying. "At the moment, a tourist who suffers a broken leg cannot communicate with all of the agencies that are responsible for helping him."
Binh added that only four of the 88 articles in the Tourism Law that was passed in 2005 pertain to the rights and responsibilities of tourists.
He said local media have reported many stories about tourists being robbed only to received no assistance from the relevant agencies.
"Vietnam has yet to become a civilized and safe destination," he said. "Many foreign tourists aren't satisfied after leaving the country."
Nguyen Quang Lan, chairman of the Hanoi Tourism Association called for the establishment of a national tourist police agency.
"It is necessary because Vietnam counts on tourism as a major industry," he said.
Lan, the former director of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that government tourism agencies shouldn't be blamed for any security compliants because these agencies aren't responsible for protecting tourists against crime.
"The mobile police taskforce should be authorized to handle such cases," he said.
During last week's session, the NA deputies agreed that Vietnam needed more foreign-language hotlines to receive information and complaints from tourists and proposed compulsory insurance for foreign visitors.
The amended tourism law will be revisited during the next NA session and submitted for approval in 2013.