Hanoi’s authorities have requested relevant branches to take urgent actions to eliminate pickpockets, vendors. Da Nang has promised to send staff to the sites immediately after receiving the calls to the hot line number to settle the problems. The promise is the debt.
Hanoians and Hanoi’s authorities say they really lose face when their fellow-countrymen try to rip off foreign travelers.
On April 4, 2013, after putting the rattan frame on her shoulders, wearing the rattan hat on head to take pictures and selling 3 pineapples to two German tourists, Le Thi Sinh, a vendor charged the tourists VND840,000, the sum of money which is big enough to buy 80 kilos of rice.
Pham Van Minh wrote from firstname.lastname@example.org that he is a “native Thanh Hoa’s person,” and he feels ashamed about the way the hotels, restaurants and service providers treat travelers.
“I was born in Thanh Hoa province; the locality where there is the beautiful beach Sam Son, grew up in the locality, left Thanh Hoa for HCM City to follow university education and has returned to settle down in Thanh Hoa. However, I always try not to use the services offered in Sam Son when I go having sea bathing. The only service I have to use is having my motorbike parked and taken care,” he wrote.
Nguyen Phuoc Nhan, Chief Inspector of the Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, made public the hot line phone number 0511. 3 868. 888, asking tourists to make calls when they are ripped off. The official promised to be present at the site immediately after receiving the calls to clarify the complaints.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has requested local people’s committee to set up the hot lines to which tourists can contact for their complaints during the trips.
In the latest news, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Police — Nguyen Duy Ngoc, on May 14 told the press that Hanoi is considering setting up the tourism police force to be in charge of preventing and dealing with the swindle cases to protect the image of Hanoi as a friendly destination in the eyes of travelers.
Especially, an idea has been suggested that Vietnam should set up an “I am sorry” committee which is in charge of offering apologies to the tourists for the inconvenience they meet in Vietnam.
Prior to that, Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan in person met the Australian traveler who was charged VND1.3 million for the taxi service and offered apology to her.
Nevertheless, despite the prompt actions by the central management agencies and local authorities, people still keep doubts if the social evils can be eliminated. In fact, the agencies and localities once promised to take drastic measures to settle the problems, but no improvement has been made so far.
Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Head of VNAT, also said that Vietnam made a right decision when offering apology to the Australian traveler. However, he said, it needs to take actions, so that it does not have make more similar apologies in the future.
Meanwhile, the idea of establishing a tourism police taskforce has been facing the strong opposition from the public. Do Quang Dan, a Thanh Nien’s reader, said that the civil authority apparatus is overly cumbersome already with 1 million officers sitting idle regularly. If a new taskforce is established, more money would be spent to develop the taskforce, which would be a heavier burden on tax payers.