The first list, announced on November16, 2004 awarded 22 tourist gift shops and trade centers that meet its tourism-service quality standards with certificates. In 2005, additional 19 businesses were recognized;, increasing the number to 41.
The qualified businesses are treated with priority. They are given a specific logo of the program figuring a crane in the front door of the store to help customers easily recognize them.
They can join the tourism associations and national festivals such as international tourism ITE- HCMC festival. In early 2006, the program will be extended to different tourist services like restaurants, entertainment, transport and beauty salons.
Businesses interested in the program can apply to the program free of charge, but must pass these strict criteria. They shall guarantee to offer best-quality goods, fixed prices and appropriate after-sale services.
The shop managers have over three years experience in commerce or business administration and are fluent in speaking a foreign language.
The locations of the stores are convenient and safe for shopping with an area of at least 50 square meters. The procedure of application is carried out within 30 days.
If there are any tourists’ complaints, the Tourism Department will testify it, send warnings to the shop three times and then the Department will expose the violating business on news media and authorities’ websites.
There should be hotlines to receive tourists’ complaints. The city’s tourism authorities shall closely examine the recognized businesses to make sure that they provide and maintain the best service. After two years, the Department will re-examine the business as well as send staff to shops to secretly test them.
A similar program has been carried out successfully in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, China and Australia.