Travel firms boycott “arrogant” tourist sites

Overcharging travelers, setting high excursion fees, receiving guests in a discourteous manner, tourist sites have been keeping travelers away.

Bui Minh Tam, Deputy Director of Minh Tam travel firm in Bac Ninh province, showed VietNamNet’s reporters his “black list,” where there are the names of the localities and tourist sites Tam would advise his clients not to go to.

Tam said his travel firm arranges the excursion trips to the Hanoi Zoo for some 10,000 students every year. He complained that the admission tickets are too expensive, with 70 percent of the primary school students having to buy the tickets for adults due to the unreasonable way of classifying children in accordance with height. Meanwhile, the security guards regularly conduct discourteous behaviors when receiving students.

At the Tuan Chau tourist site in Quang Ninh province, the admission ticket for a four year old child is the same as the ticket for a young boy 1.8 meters tall. Visitors have to pay 160,000 dong to use all the services in amusement areas. However, they don’t have many opportunities to play here, because the machines that operate games have broken down.

The Ba Vi National Park in Hanoi is one of the most famous destinations for travelers. However, the admission tickets to some tourist sites managed by the Ao Vua Tourist Company have been raised continually. Visitors now have to pay 70,000-100,000 dong, an overly high level if compared with the service quality they receive.

Therefore, Tam said the firm has boycotted Ba Vi, having stopped running marketing programs and bringing travelers to Ba Vi.

The Ba Na tourist site in the central city of Da Nang has also been cited by Tam as an unattractive destination for travelers. Travelers now wish to go to Ba Na, advertised as the “fairy land,” where people can enjoy all the four reasons within one day.

Tam said that Ba Na would keep travelers away if it does not change the way of management.

In high travel season, hotels all raise the hotel room rates. Especially, the rates travelers have to pay are not the ones quoted on mass media. Hotel managers try to charge as high as possible.

On the April holiday, Minh Tam had to pay 1 million dong for a hotel room in Da Nang with guest house standards, and it had to make payment once before travelers came.

In the north, Sam Son beach in Thanh Hoa province and Cat Ba in Hai Phong are the terrible destinations for domestic travelers. Pedicab drivers or taxi motorbike drivers always persuade passengers to buy seafood products at the shops they introduce, because they would get commissions from the shops.

Meanwhile, hotels would only accept bookings if travelers agree to have meals at the hotels. In most of cases, travelers complained that they were overcharged: they had to pay 120,000 dong per ration while the price should be 70,000 dong only.

A tour guide related that when he asked the owner of a restaurant in Thanh Hoa why everything was so expensive in the locality, he was told that since the tourist season lasts three months only, he has to take full advantage of the opportunities to earn money by overcharging travelers.

Who’s to blame? A reader emailed to VietNamNet from ngocminhtourist14a@…, who introduced himself as the division head of a travel firm in Hanoi, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism VNAT has to take responsibility for this.

A question raised at nearly all tourism workshops that why domestic tours do not attract Vietnamese travelers. And the answer to the question could be found in the stories.

(Vietnam Net)

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