Nguyen Thi Kim Khanh, director of Travel Life, on Wednesday signed a document admitting the wrongdoings of her company, including operating outbound tours with no license, not informing about their operations and changing location without notice.
“The tourism authorities only punish (Travel Life) for the faults provided in the Tourism Law with a fine of tens of millions of dong. As for other issues directly related to the contracts with tourists, tourists can file lawsuits,” said a representative from the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
He informed Travel Life had not directly signed a contract with Herbalife for operating a tour to Thailand for Herbalife’s customers.
“Travel Life signed a lot of contracts for organizing tours for hundreds of customers. Each contract was signed for a group of customers by a sales team leader of Herbalife or another representative,” he said.
Under one contract, Travel Life brought over 700 tourists to Thailand from June 12 to 18. However, as the tour operator had not fully paid its Thai partner, the partner refused to provide services.
The abandoned tourists had difficulties returning home since the company had not fully paid airfares either.
On hearing about this accident, management agencies went to the headquarters of Travel Life, but Khanh was not there and could not be reached by any means. All tourists returned home this Tuesday after management agencies and some partners had intervened.
Director of a large travel firm in HCMC said the penalty for Travel Life was not heavy enough and not adequate although it was imposed according to the Tourism Law.
With a fine of only tens of millions of dong for each violation, violators can pay fines and continue their business or establish new companies. For this reason, many companies are willing to pay fines to commit violations.