Not long after a Thai tourist had been forced to pay VND10 million for a 6-kg fish at a fishing village in Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh, hundreds of similar scams had been reported in tourism hotspots across the country.
Cao Tri Dung, director of Danang-based Vitours travel agency, said one of his Japanese partners had been taken around downtown Ho Chi Minh City downtown for 45 minutes, while he only needed to travel from Ben Thanh Market to Suong Nguyet Anh Street, only 1km away.
Bui Viet Thuy Tien, director of Asian Trails Travel Agency, said many of her customers had complained that they were upset by the fact that they still had to pay for the food at high prices that would not be out of place at a European restaurant, though they were traveling in Vietnam.
“Tourists have been introduced to Vietnamese foods that are delicious, nutritious, and cheap, but what they really experience in the country is totally the opposite,” said a foreign visitor.
Le Dinh Tuan, CEO of Viet Excursions, said his company has received a huge number of complaints about repeated disturbance by women carrying children to beg for money in Ha Long Bay. They would not get off the boats until they received some money, said Tuan.
“We have reported the issue to the management board of Ha Long Bay, as well as the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Quang Ninh, but nothing has ever changed,” lamented Tuan.
Vietnam’s plan to set up tourism police teams to protect foreign visitors from robberies by Vietnam’s southern metropolis has seen no progress though it has been worked out a year earlier.
Many Southeast Asia countries, including Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia had set up tourism police forces and Vietnam should learn their experience, experts said.
Vietnam is one of ideal and attractive destinations of int'l visitors thanks to many famous and beautiful tourist attractions as well as the stability, peace of national security system and hospitality, friendliness of Vietnamese people. However, international travelers have recently much complained about cheatings, and robbery.
(Source: Tuoi Tre)