Security force for travelers

VietNamNet Bridge – Wearing a green uniform and a blue cap, he roams around the street and smiles at me shiningly. He is not a police but a tourist security who will give a hand to travelers in the city.

 

The tourist security is set up to protect travelers from robberies, guide travelers to cross roads or deal with travelers' requests for information. This kind of service has been introduced to HCMC since 2005.

A tourist security named Nguyen Quoc Dai says that there are about 300 tourist security people in HCMC. Most of them roam in District 1 most frequented by tourists.

When I walk around Dong Khoi Street, a tourist security is leading a group of travelers to cross the road.

Dai explains that some travelers do not dare to cross roads as the transportation system in HCMC is in a terrible mess.

They also protect travelers from robbery. But what they do usually is to show travelers the right directions when they are lost.

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A Chinese identified as Aaron was given a hand by the tourist security a few days ago when he and his girlfriend were lost near the Noire Dame Cathedral.

Aaron says they are really helpful as they took their initiative to help when he was in a trouble.

Denise and Bryce, the travelers from Australia, have never asked for security's help but they do appreciate this service which protects them from snatch-and-run thefts and robberies.

However, language is a problem when the tourist guards communicate with travelers because some of the helpers cannot speak English.

Dai can speak a little English. He tells me through the translator that he is the junior one so he has not had the English course yet but most of them especially senior ones can speak English and Chinese.

Being the tourist guards, they can trained English in order to minimize the language barrier and help travelers in a better way.

This kind of service has been introduced for 2 years, however, some travelers have no idea about this.

A traveler from Germany identified as Edith says she has never heard of this. And she is not sure whether guidebooks mention this service or not.

But Aaron says travelers can the information of the tourist security people from the Internet.