Vietnamese tour company in hot water for illegal Thailand tours

By Vy An   July 20, 2017 | 04:24 am PT
Vietnamese tour company in hot water for illegal Thailand tours
Tourists enjoy on a beach in Thailand. Photo by Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom
A group was left stranded in Thailand after two guides were arrested for working without licenses.

A travel company that left 17 Vietnamese tourists stranded in Thailand following the arrests of its tour guide and tour leader last month had been providing an illegal service, an investigation has found.

Local travel company EPAC does not have a license to offer overseas tours, said Le Minh Son, deputy director of the tourism department in Can Tho.

Son said his department had ordered the company to fully refund the tourists by August 10 and work with foreign affairs officials to bring the two staff members home.

The company is looking at a fine of between VND40-50 million ($1,760-2,200), he said.

Vietnam's National Administration of Tourism on Wednesday also asked Can Tho to ensure the group's interests are protected.

The case drew attention from officials after the tourists filed a complaint.

They said the company charged them VND6.5 million each for a tour in June, but when they arrived they did not have a place to stay and the tour guide couldn't speak English.

The next day, the tour guide and the tour leader were both arrested by Thai police for running illegal tours.

The tourists were left to fend for themselves before they returned home with help from Thai police.

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