Low cost tours turn out to be expensive tours

Published:  08:39 Thursday - June 21, 2012

Low cost tours turn out to be expensive tours

Many domestic tours under the tourism promotion program have been described as the “trap” for travelers. Clients think they can save money with the low cost tours, but in fact, they are overcharged.

Unreasonable departure time eats into travel schedule

In principle, travel companys always try to design the travel schedules in the most reasonable way, ensuring that travelers can take full advantage of their time on traveling, while keeping them in the best health conditions.

However, the principle has been ignored by many travel firms which deliberately “forget” to inform the schedules of the tours, including the departure and the return time. A traveler said that when she called a big travel firm in Ho Chi Minh City to ask about the departure time, the officers of the firms refused to give answers, telling her to book tours first and she would be informed about the schedule on the day before the departure day.

Hanoi Redtours is one of the rare travel firms which have made public the travel schedules of its 10 tours under the tourism promotion program on its official website.

Those, who book the 4-day-and-3-night Tam Ky – Hoi An – Da Nang tour, would fly with Vietnam Airlines, and they would have to get into buses to go to the airport at 9 am of the last day of the trip. Meanwhile, the travelers booking the 4-day-and-3-night Quy Nhon tour would arrive in Noi Bai airport in Hanoi at 11 am of Wednesday, which means that they would waste half a day on transport.

The reason of the unreasonable schedule is the dependence on the air carriers which offer low airfares. With the Quy Nhon – Hanoi air route, Vietnam Airlines remains the only one airline that develops the route with one only flight a day.

In HCM City, Festival, a travel firm, announced the 20-25 % tour fee discounts for the promotional tours. However, the tourists, who book three tours to the central region which would depart in August and September, would land in the Da Nang airport in the central region at 11.10 pm. Thus, travelers would waste money to pay for hotel room for the first night, just because they want to start out early the next morning.

Meanwhile, those, who book the Da Lat tour (four days and 3 nights) with the departure time in August 22, in fact, would have three days and 3 nights to tour because of the unreasonable departure schedules. 

Departing at the dawn, returning at mid-night

On its official website, Festival announced the tour fee discount of 40-60% for summer domestic tours. On June 22, the travel company would kick off the tour from HCM City to Phu Quoc Island which offers the discount of 1-1.2 million dong. 

However, in order to enjoy the discounts, travelers would have to see the travel duration shortened. On the last day of the tour, travelers would have enough time for sea bathing once and going to the market. After that, they have to get into airplanes to return home.

The clients of Hanoi Redtours have announced that its buses would pick up travelers at 3.40 am to the Noi Bai airport, from which travelers would fly to Can Tho. Saigontourist Hanoi, which offers the 34 % tour fee discounts, and Vietran Tours, which offers the tours to Mekong Delta, using the air tickets with the 40 % discounts, have also forced travelers to take off at 5.50 am.

Source: VNN

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