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|A tourist tries parachuting from Khau Pha Pass|
A chief executive officer (CEO) of a travel firm said there were no regulations forcing tourists and travel firms to buy adventure tourism insurance, so tour operators tended to purchase general tourism insurance packages. To enhance coverage, travel firms might buy additional insurance if any adventurous activity was added to the tour, the CEO added.
A representative of Post & Telecommunication Insurance Joint Stock Corporation (PTI) noted that in Vietnam, the majority of insurance firms would not differentiate adventure tours from general tours, and only set prices for insurance covering general tourism.
Meanwhile, Bao Viet Insurance Corporation has yet to deploy any form of insurance for adventure tourism to date, a representative of the corporation confirmed.
Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions Tourism Company, attributed tourists’ limited purchases of adventure tourism insurance to the high fees and the underdevelopment of this type of tourism in Vietnam.
The representative of Bao Viet said that adventure tourism emerged in Vietnam in the 1990s, but it has yet to see any detailed regulations managing the segment.
The Government’s latest decree related to adventure tourism, Decree 168, lists tourism activities with high risks to tourists’ lives and health, such as paragliding, parachuting, zipline challenges, jet-skiing, white-water rafting and waterskiing. Although the decree contains regulations on ensuring the safety of tourists, it fails to mention insurance.
Moreover, the management of adventure activities has yet to be properly attended to. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is reportedly in the process of drawing up a circular for this type of tourism, following several fatal accidents.
Because there are no regulations on adventure tourism insurance, management agencies can only request travel firms to purchase this insurance for customers, without enforcing quality requirements. Meanwhile, some travel firms have refused to any additional insurance, insisting that the responsibility be borne by adventure sports organizers. As a result, it is mostly tourists who bear the risk of accidents on adventure tours.