Vietnam has officially released a code of conduct for tourism including 20 etiquette rules for both local and foreign tourists.

The code, penned by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and issued earlier this month, also aims to remind service providers that they should follow professional and ethical standards when serving tourists.

Among the rules of manners for tourists are recommendations on queuing, appropriate dressing and responsible drinking.

Tourists are also urged to obey local laws and not to consume wildlife products.

Vietnamese traveling abroad are asked to follow the same rules, which are not legally binding.

Officials said this code of conduct only serves as a guide and does not replace specific regulations that legally deal with public misdemeanors.

Some critics said the code may not be very useful in reality, arguing that misbehavior is better corrected by strict penalties.

Vietnam's tourism industry is witnessing a boom, with sharp increases in both local travelers and foreign arrivals.

The country received more than 2.2 million foreign visitors in January-February, up 33 percent from a year ago, the government said, putting the country on track to meet its annual target to welcome 11.5 million foreigners this year.

Major cities in the country in recent years have been asking tourists to behave.

Last month Hanoi warned that it may soon publish names of locals and visitors violating its upcoming etiquette code.

Just a few weeks before that, Ho Chi Minh City published its own code for tourists. The code, accompanied by a PSA video, has sparked some controversy and debate online with many criticizing the way foreigners are depicted. - March 20, 2017

For the first time, Vietnam issues official etiquette guide for tourists

Major cities have asked visitors to be nice. Now the tourism ministry wants to see good manners across the country.

Main recommendations for tourists:

- Queue for tickets, check-in, check-out, or wherever there is a line

- Respect other members in a tour

- Wear decent clothes in public places

- Respect the culture and religion of the place

- Consider taking or ordering the right amount food

- Consume alcoholic beverages at a moderate level

- Do not push others in public or crowded areas

- Do not litter

- Do not spit

- Do not draw graffiti

- Do not smoke in prohibited areas

- Do not pick flowers or disturb animals in parks, zoos or in their habitats

For service providers:

- List prices and provide services at the listed prices

- Be responsible for any damage caused to the environment

- Assist tourists in emergency

- Avoid taking tourists to dangerous places

- Only licensed tour guides are allowed to work - March 20, 2017