Travel agencies have warned tourists about the low quality of discounted tours for Tet Holiday.
Demand for travel during the Tet Holiday is extremely high and the period is one of two peak seasons for the tourism industry. Many firms have taken advantage of passengers to offer cheap low-quality services or flat out swindled the money.
Ngoc Anh, a local in HCM City, was confused by many offers on the internet. On some websites, a trip to South Korea for four days and three nights costs VND20m (USD857) while the price is half that at some other travel firms.
Truong Thi Thu Giang from Vietravel Company said customers must be careful when seeing cheap offers. Some firms only include the prices of plane tickets, hotel and bus while deliberately leaving out visa or tour guide fees. As a result, tourists will have to pay extra fees in the end.
Meanwhile, some firms may include only free destinations and services so tourists travelling to Japan can only see Mount Fiji from afar. The tours to Australia are often short and lacklustre, Giang said.
A Saigontourist representative agreed that tourists would be forced to pay extra fees for many services when they buy cheap tours from unknown agencies. Tourists are advised to read the schedules carefully.
Tour firms have to make plans for Tet tours three to six months before the season starts. They must quickly sign contracts with partners and book hotel rooms early to ensure quality tours. Small firms are sometimes unable to attract enough customers and may cancel tours unexpectedly, according to the Saingontourist.