Did the tour guide badmouth or just tell the truth?

The story by Thao Phuong about local tour guides who ‘badmouth’ Vietnam when they take tourists overseas has received an enormous response from Tuoi Tre readers.

Some think that tour guides should consider their words carefully, as they act as a culture ambassador to both domestic and international tourists.

“Every country has its good and bad points.

Tour guides cannot just take the short-comings to introduce and laugh at, create misunderstandings, and negatively impact to the country,” wrote reader Tan Khoi.

Khoi suggested turning to provincial or national forums to discuss ongoing issues with likeminded people to figure out solutions together.

A reader nicknamed momvang thought that these lame comparisons are made by a few tour guides, most of whom are young and inexperienced graduates working on contract in some travel agencies.

“Other countries have their own problems too.

My foreign friends fell in love with Vietnam due to people’s friendliness and the country’s safeness.

Why should we Vietnamese talk bad about the place where we were born?” she wondered.

On the other hand, some readers stood on the tour guide’s side and found that it is totally right to point out the country’s weak points, from which we strive to better ourselves.

A reader nicknamed LangThang found the author’s view shallow and close-minded, although he agreed that the tour guide may have expressed his views in a straight-forward way and hurt some sensitive tourists.

“The tour guides are patriotic enough to say that the final purpose is to make Vietnam become better, to catch up with other countries.

It is better than those who try to ignore problems and do not dare to speak up about the country’s weak points,” he wrote.

“From criticisms, we can learn a lesson and better ourselves. If we feel shameful and react to criticisms, we can never keep up with other people,” said reader Tran Quy.

“I disagree with the author.

Living in Hanoi, I see people littering, spitting in public.

Many cross Chuong Duong or Long Bien street and throw garbage into the Hong River.

No one feels ashamed and no one scolds anyone.

The authorities also say nothing about dirty streets filled with potholes.

Why do you blame the tour guides for telling the truth?” wrote reader Vuong Van Gioi.

Local tour guides also raised their own voice regarding the issue.

“Since childhood, we were educated to see the truth and have our own points of view.

The stories told by tour guides were not meant to badmouth the country.

They are opinions of a responsible person.

Probably the author herself had some bad experience and grew antipathy to the tour guides?” wondered My Hanh, a former tour guide.

Tour guide Nguyen Tam said some of his colleagues are concerned about Vietnam’s development compared to other countries, and they reflect that fact so that everyone can consider the issue.

“It is telling the truth, although it is hard to accept.

I don’t find it bad.

It is just a reminder for us to study and work harder,” he wrote.

Minh Nhat, an English tour guide who has been taking foreign tourists around the country, had another view.

He shared that local tour guides should never badmouth Vietnam to either domestic or foreign tourists.

“As a cultural ambassador, no one wants to talk bad about their own country and people.

In reality, tour guides are not painters who only offer beautiful images of their homeland.

Tourists are very sensitive and can find out if we tell the truth or not,” he wrote.

Source: Tuoi Tre Online

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