“Standard Tourism Service” (STS) is a program developed by the Viet Nam Tourism Department to improve the quality of goods and services to appeal to international visitors to Viet Nam, stimulating their spending and extending their stays.
For a business to be recognized as an STS their prices, product quality, and payment methods must conform to international standards and be certified as such by the Tourism Department. This is an attempt to create a “safe” shopping environment for tourists.
Of the 65 locations already given the STS designation in Ho Chi Minh City are four of its biggest commerce centers, including Parkson Commercial Center, Diamond Plaza, Zen Plaza, and the Tax Shopping Center. The 61 other shops in HCMC having also received approval are shops selling handicrafts, silk, and jewelry, as well as restaurants and super markets.
In 2007, HCMC’s tourist department plans to publish over 30,000 tourist maps highlighting the locations of STS designated businesses. Additionally, the Viet Nam Tourism Department is setting up a Standard Tourist Service website available in English, French and Japanese to assist foreign tourists in Viet Nam.