return icon

Tips for tour guides: yes or no?

Analysts doubt the feasibility of the new decision by the Phu Quoc Tour Guide Association about collecting tips because most tourists want inexpensive tours and travel firms are competing with each other by slashing service fees.


Some people say the money collected from tourists mentioned in the PhuQuoc Tour Guide Association document is a service charge, not a tip, because a tip is understood as a bonus given by tourists on a voluntary basis.

As such, Phu Quoc Tour Guide Association wants to switch from receiving tips to collecting a service charge.

Except for a few travel firms serving foreign travelers (inbound travelers) which clearly mention in their contracts the subject of tip collection, most firms ignore this because they want to keep their tour fees competitive.

When serving outbound travelers, travel firms collect service charges for tour guides. Outbound travelers may think that paying a tip is a cultural behavior in other countries, so they accept to pay tips. However, if they take domestic tours, they want to cut all possible costs.

Some analysts warn that the service charge collection will lead to higher revenue and travel firms would have to pay higher tax. Travelers pay tips directly to guides, which have no relation with firms’ revenue.

As for tour guides, they all want to receive additional money besides the wages paid by travel firms. And they want Vietnamese and inbound travelers to pay additional fees just like outbound travelers do.

Opinions about service charge collections vary. Some people warned that if all tour guides can receive tips, they will not try their best to serve tourists because even if they work better than other tour guides, they will receive the same tips.

Meanwhile, other people said there is no need to worry. Travel firms always consider feedback from travelers when deciding to continue to work with tour guides. If tour guides violate regulations and don’t provide high-quality services, they will be punished by the law and travel firms.

Some people believe the document released by Phu Quoc Tour Guide Association is illegal and will have an adverse impact on travel firms and tour guides.

Meanwhile, other people believe this is an internal document which is valid for the members of the association. The release of the document also doesn’t violate the current laws. Kien Giang Tourism Department and Kien Giang Tourism Association both know the document and they have no comments about it.

The only purpose of the document is to allow the members of the association to collect service charges in addition to the wages they receive from travel firms, which are now at low levels. This means that if tour guides collect service charges, they won’t be accused of violating tour guide’s ethics.

Truong Cong Tam, Chair of Phu Quoc Tour Guide Association, affirmed that the release of the document doesn’t violate the laws. This is the rule set up by the association and applied to its members. If travel firms or individuals want to hire the tour guides of the association but are not willing to pay service charge, the guides have the right to refuse to serve them.

There is no legal document which forces travel firms to satisfy tour guides’ requests. This is just an agreement between tour guides and travel firms.

In fact, tip collection has been applied at many restaurants and cafes throughout the country and many customers are willing to pay tips. If they don’t want to pay tips, they can choose other restaurants and cafes.

The message conveyed by Phu Quoc Tour Guide Association is that service quality is the top priority. If service providers provide good services, they may ask to collect additional fees. If they don’t, customers will go away.

However, analysts warn that it will be not easy to collect service charges from travelers because service charges will increase travel costs, which will keep travelers away. 

Tran Trung

Tour guides in Phu Quoc allowed to collect tips

Tour guides in Phu Quoc allowed to collect tips

This is the first time a professional association of tour guides in Vietnam has released a document not only allowing its members to collect gratuities but also fixing the gratuity levels that tour guides can receive.

VN set for tour guide shortage

VN set for tour guide shortage

Over 15,500 licensed tour guides have been put out of work for more than two years due to the pandemic and many of them have decided to leave the tourism sector permanently to earn a living elsewhere.  


Authority maintains tough stance on safety violations on Hanoi’s “railway café street”

The Vietnam Railway Authority has insisted that it will take a hard line on railway traffic safety violations along Hanoi’s popular "railway café street" sketching across the inner districts in its recent report to the Ministry of Transport.

Foreign hi-tech firms expand investment in Vietnamese market

Molex, the world’s leading supplier of connectors and interconnect components, has unveiled its ambitions to expand its existing manufacturing plant in the Vietnamese market by developing its plant in Hanoi.


Hai Phong lures more than 1.24 billion USD in first nine months

Vietnam rakes in US$16.05 billion from tourism in nine months

Vietnam earned some 394.2 trillion VND (16.05 billion USD) from tourism in the first nine months of this year, equivalent to 78% of the figure recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.


Vietnam invests in 10 energy technologies

Vietnamese poetry collection published in Canada

A poetry collection from five female translators based in Hanoi, entitled Ngũ Sắc Ánh Sáng (5 Sights of Light), has been introduced to Canadian readers by Ukiyoto Publishing.

Multi-billion thermal power project needs more capital

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked for ministries' opinions on solutions to problems related to the balance sheet of the Vung Ang 1 thermal-power plant.

The best September photos on VietNamNet

Hot air balloons with the Vietnamese national flag of 1,800m2 on the banks of the Saigon River, Typhoon Noru making landfall in Quang Nam Province, the roofs of many houses being blown away...

BSR to expand Dung Quat Oil Refinery

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JSC (BSR) to clarify some issues related to its project on expanding Dung Quat Oil Refinery.

Dutch conductor to lead concert at Opera House

Conductor Leon Bosch from the Netherlands will lead a concert featuring masterpieces by European composers at the HCM City Opera House on Saturday, October 8.

‘578’ to represent Vietnam at Oscars

An action film starring Miss Universe Vietnam 2018, H'hen Niê, 578: Phát Đạn Của Kẻ Điên (578: Magnum), has been selected as Vietnamese representative at the 95th Oscars, 2023.

USD surges to VND24,000, US$1.7 billion withdrawn from circulation

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) withdrew nearly VND41 trillion ($1.7 billion) through open market operations as the US dollar rose to over VND24,000 on September 26-30, 2022.

HCM City to build a series of new traffic projects

HCM City is speeding up procedures to start the construction of key traffic works at gateways by the end of the year, according to HCM City's Department of Transport.

Burning garbage in Hanoi threatens residents' health, property

There have been consecutive fires caused by people's poor awareness, who were burning garbage and straw in residential areas, causing fires recently in Hanoi.

New cargo airline still waiting for license

After the Prime Minister agrees on the establishment of IPP Air Cargo, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) will implement procedures to grant a license to the air carrier, according to MOT Deputy Minister Le Dinh Tho.