VietNamNet Bridge – Approximately 700 Vietnamese tourists who went to Thailand for attending a seminar and travel were abandoned in Thailand because the Vietnamese tour operator – HCM City-based Travel Life Company – did not pay its Thai partner.
According to the representative office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Ho Chi Minh City, from July 12 to 18, Herbalife Vietnam organized a seminar tour in Thailand for 3,000 Vietnamese. As the number of visitors is huge, this company bought tours of many travel firms in Vietnam, including Travel Life with approximately 700 people.
After the two-day seminar, the visitors of Travel Life were abandoned at the conference center because the Thai partner – Thai 2020 Company – refused to continue serving them.
The Thai partner said they only received 30 percent of deposit from Travel Life. The remaining amount which would have been paid upon the arrival of the Vietnamese tourists to Thailand was not paid as commitment. This company, therefore, did not have money to take care of Vietnamese tourists. Visitors had to pay everything themselves although they completely paid for the tour.
The representative office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Ho Chi Minh City said that there is no problem for all other attendees of the workshop of HerbalLife in Thailand. These people are now in Pattaya.
A representative of Travel Life confirmed the incident. The head of the company flew to Thailand on June 16 to solve the problem. Life Travel was established over two years ago, based in Tan Binh District, HCM City.
According to the HCM City Department of Tourism, Travel Life is not licensed to provide international tours.
Recently, Vietnamese tourists to Thailand are on the rise, with 530,000 in 2012, ranking 13th in the list of foreign tourists in Thailand. There is no specific data of 2013, but the number of Vietnamese tourists is estimated to increase by about 20-30 percent and brings about revenue of 15.2 billion baht.
On average, Vietnamese tourists stay in Thailand for 6.04 days and they spend about 4,035 baht per day. Around 60 percent of them return to Thailand. Thailand has the advantage of cheap tours and has many tourist attractions.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand has five destinations that are favored by Vietnamese tourist: Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Udon Thani and Kanchanaburi.