Under Vietnam’s WTO Commitments on Services and the laws of Vietnam, the foreign investors are permitted to provide travel agency and tour operator services in the form of joint venture with Vietnamese partner (the “Joint Venture Company” or the “JVC”) without any limitations on foreign capital contribution. However, it is noted that the JVC can only do inbound services and domestic travel for inbound tourists as an integral part of inbound services. The tourist guides in such company shall be Vietnamese citizens.
Under the Law on Tourism, the JVC is required to obtain the International Travel License when the JVC meets the following requirements:
(1) The JVC is required to have a deposit amount in VND at its deposit account at a licensed bank in Vietnam. In particular, for provision of travel services for inbound tourists, the deposit amount shall be VND250,000,000 (equivalent to around USD 12,000); and
(2) The person in charge of provision of travel services must hold a college degree or higher in travel; in case he/she holds a college degree or higher in another major, a certificate of training in international tour operation is required.
For your information, there is no requirement on minimum investment capital applied for this business, but to have sufficient finance for the deposit amount of around USD 12,000 as above, so the minimum charter capital of the JVC has at least from USD 12,000 or more to cover other initial expenses like office rental and other operation expenses.
To be quick to set up the JVC, as normal, the best option is that the foreign investor will facilitate a Vietnamese Partner to set up a Local Company under his/her name, and thereafter the foreign investor will subscribe further capital into the charter capital of the Local Company to become its member holding 99% capital and convert the Local Company into the JVC.