VietNamNet Bridge – Too many “bogus” travel firms have appeared on the market, tricking travelers out of money. Meanwhile, travelers don’t know who they should petition to have their interests protected.

The number of “fake Sinh cafes are eight times higher than the number of actual Sinh cafes.”

Pham Tuan Minh, former Director of Viet Tuan Minh Tour, said bogus travel firms do not have business licenses, while they register “virtual offices.” They send “staff” to everywhere to persuade clients to book tours, but they never can provide tours. They just urge clients to pay a deposit to appropriate the money and then escape.

Some tourism experts have noted that bogus travel firms would be ready to pay big money on “promotion programs.” They deliver the leaflets inviting clients to book the tours which have the tour fees lower by 25-30 percent than the tours provided by other travel firms. The costly method of doing marketing of the bogus travel firms can easily lure travelers into their traps.

Le Hoang Chuong, Head of the Personnel Division of Lua Viet Travel, said on Nguoi dua tin that in 2011, two companies in Long An province and Go Vap district of HCM City introduced themselves as Lua Vang travel firms. The problem was only settled after Lua Viet travel firm sent a document to competent agencies asking to clarify the issue.

However, Chuong noted that competent agencies still have not taken drastic measures to clear bogus businesses.

If someone tries to look for Open Tour – Sinh café of Hanoi Toserco, he would fall into the labyrinth, because he would see a lot of Sinh cafes. It is simply because the brand has been “borrowed” and exploited over the last many years. Especially, the number of “fake Sinh cafes are eight times higher than the number of actual Sinh cafes.”

According to Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai, Director of Hanoi Toserco, said the Open tour – Sinh café brand was registered at the National Office for Industrial Property in 1997 and became well known. Since 1999, the brand has been “borrowed” by many other service providers. The actual owner of the brand has many times asked for the help from competent agencies, but no fake Sinh has been punished so far.

Established in October 1989, the Hoa Binh Tourist JSC has been listed among the 10 leading travel firms. In November 2011, another Hoa Binh travel firm was established. The full name of the company was Hoa Binh HCM City Tourist JSC, which had its logo and offered the tours similar with the ones provided by Hoa Binh Tourist JSC. Especially, the new comer introduced itself as a branch of the Hoa Binh Tourist JSC.

Hoang Ngoc Thai, Director of Royal International Tourist in HCM City has noted that bogus and forging travel firms have been mushrooming recently. “They should be seen as the tumors of the national economy which need to be cleared, or they would sink the Vietnam’s tourism industry,” Thai said.

Branded travel firms in HCM City have repeatedly complained that they received feedback from travelers who complained about the low quality of tour services or provided the information which then made the firms realize that the services were not provided by the actual travel firms.

Lawyer Chu Khang from the Hanoi Law Office said on Kinh te & Do thi, that the currently applied easy regulations of the Enterprise Law have lent a hand to swindlers to cheat travelers. Meanwhile, if some businesses are found as violating the laws, they would be just imposed fines. The current laws do not have any provision which says the violators would have their operation licenses revoked.

Compiled by C. V