Vietnam pledges to protect Chinese tourists amid tensions

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Nguyen Quy Phuong (L), head of the VNAT's travel division, gives a gift to the representative of a Chinese tourist group in Hanoi on May 16. PHOTO: VNEXPRESS Nguyen Quy Phuong (L), head of the VNAT's travel division, gives a gift to the representative of a Chinese tourist group in Hanoi on May 16. PHOTO: VNEXPRESS

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The Vietnamese tourism authority has asked provincial administrations and travel companies to ensure the absolute safety of Chinese-speaking tourists amid tensions over a Chinese oil rig dispatched into Vietnamese waters.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) asked relevant agencies “not to let extreme or discriminatory behavior be directed toward” visitors from Chinese-speaking localities.
The VNAT affirmed that ongoing tensions in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, have had no negative effect on Vietnam’s tourism activities on land and in coastal areas.
The agency further affirmed that Vietnam remains a safe and friendly destination for international visitors.
Last Friday evening, leaders of the VNAT and the Vietnam Tourism Association met with a group of Chinese tourists in Hanoi. The officials said recent disturbances in some provinces had been caused by a small group of hooligans and these isolated incidents had no connection with tourism.
“The development of tourism between Vietnam and China as well as other countries brings people closer together," Nguyen Quy Phuong, head of the travel division under the VNAT, was quoted by news website VnExpress as saying.
 "The Vietnamese government always takes steps to ensure tourists from China and other places in the world enjoy quality service and the utmost safety during their stay here.” 
Earlier this month, the VNAT asked local hospitality businesses to refrain from discriminating against Chinese tourists following reports that a few businesses had refused to serve Chinese customers to protest their government's incursion into Vietnamese territory.
Last year 1.9 million Chinese visited the country, accounting for the largest part of the Vietnam's international arrivals.

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