Travel firms say “no” to “live by makeshift” tourist site

Some tTravel firms say “no” to “live by makeshift” tourist siteravel firms have announced that they boycott the Ba Na Tourist Complex in the central city of Da Nang, because the tourist site has raised the service fees immoderately – a rarely seen thing in the tourism sector.

Travel firms are believed to act as the intermediaries who connect tourists with tourist sites and service providers. They seem to be safe and unhurt in any cases, because they would raise the tour fees if the input service fees increase, and vice versa. In other words, they would never suffer in case of the price fluctuations.

Therefore, the information that travel firms refuse to cooperate with Ba Na Tourist Complex has caught the special attention from the public.

Explaining the decision, an executive of a travel firm said the tourist site’s management board has spontaneously raised the service fees dramatically, ignoring the warnings by travel firms about the possible bad consequences and the protests by travelers.

“We have decided to do one thing that we never did before,” the senior executive said.

“Saying ‘no’ to a tourist site is the way we have chosen to express our viewpoint and to protect the clients who believe in us,” he added. “It’s the time for service providers to reconsider their service quality and have respect for clients.”
Sharing the same view, Nguyen Van My, Director of Lua Viet travel firm, said tourism should be considered as a kind of religion so as to conduct with reasonable behaviors.

The viewpoint of the travel firms has been supported by the HCM City Travel Association, which said that clients should be respected.

2012 is really a difficult year for Vietnamese tourist sector with the travel demand decreasing dramatically in the economic downturn. Therefore, travel firms have to cut down tour fees and launch big sales promotion campaigns to attract more travelers, Their efforts may become helpless without the cooperation of tourist sites, which raise service fees unreasonably.

A lot of travelers complained that they have experienced a terrible September holiday as they were overcharged at the tourist sites.

Tuan, a traveler, said he had to pay 180,000 dong for a ticket to go from Binh Station to Cat Ba island, instead of the publicly quoted ticket price of 150,000 dong.

“The Hai Phong City’s competent agencies have loosened management, thus paving the way for the service provider to raise the ticket prices. Meanwhile, the ticket prices should be posted to make it known to everyone,” he said.

However, despite the expensive tickets, travelers still could not enjoy their trip. Since the ship was overloaded with the number of passengers double that in ordinary days, Tuan said he felt suffocated.

Tuan and other passengers arrived in Cat Ba one hour later than expected. However, this was not the only trouble he experienced.

Here on the island, travelers had to carry out stiff negotiations with hotels and restaurants. In the negotiations, the service providers got the upper hand. Travelers then had to accept the hotel room rate which was triple higher than the normal rate, though the travelers already booked hotels before.

Especially, the meals here were exorbitant with vegetables, soups – the simple dishes – charged hundreds of thousands of dong.

Bui Trung Nghia, Chair of Cat Hai district’s authorities, said he instructed relevant state management agencies to strengthen the management on the September holiday to prevent the overcharging at tourist sites. However, the instruction was ignored. It seems that Cat Ba does not want to meet the travelers again.

Compiled by C. V