A cruise ship and its captain in Ha Long Bay has been suspended up to six months after it was found overcharged visitors.
Tourists fishing in Bai Tu Long Bay
Ha Long Management Board on January 19 ordered related agencies to ban the cruise ship, Hai Long 16, from operating in Ha Long and Bai Tu Long bays for 10 days and suspend its captain Bui Van Thao for six months, starting from January 20.
Thao was found overcharging a group of seven foreign tourists on January 15. The tourists were asked to pay VND1,260,000 (USD55.48) higher than the listed prices to visit Ba Hang Village. Thao admitted he had overcharged and was made to return the money.
In last November, a group of tourists visited Ha Long Bay complained that their standard 4-hour trip was cut short by one and a half hours by the boat crew. The tour guides also raised concerns about the shortcomings when providing services for solo travellers. Most tourists share their bad experiences on the Internet instead of coming to the authorities.
Ha Long Bay is becoming more popular. Vietnam Plus reported that provincial authorities hoped to welcome 12 million visitors this year, including five million foreigners, and earn VND22trn (USD968m).
During the New Year Holiday from December 30, 2017 to January 1, 2018, Ha Long Bay welcomed nearly 34,000 visitors, up 12% from the same period last year, including 28,310 foreigners, accounting for 83 percent of the total tourist arrivals.
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