Taiwanese travel agency fined for stranding tourists in Vietnam

By Hoang Phong    February 18, 2024 | 12:32 am PT
Taiwanese travel agency fined for stranding tourists in Vietnam
Stranded Taiwanese tourists arrive at Phu Quoc International Airport on Feb. 14, 2024 to fly home. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Dung
Taipei-based We Love Tours company was slapped with a fine of NT$810,000 (US$25,850) for stranding almost 300 Taiwanese tourists on Phu Quoc Island due to a payment dispute.

The fine was imposed by Taiwan’s Tourism Administration on Saturday after the company was found guilty of violating Taiwan's Act for the Development of Tourism and Regulations Governing Travel Agencies, Focus Taiwan reported.

A day earlier, the company was suspended for three months starting from Feb. 16.

The 292 visitors had booked a four-day tour to the island through the company and flew in by charter flight on Feb. 9.

When they arrived at Phu Quoc International Airport, there were no vehicles or hotels waiting for them due to the payment dispute with local partner Winner International Travel Company.

After Phu Quoc authorities and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office stepped in, the Taiwanese company was ordered to make full payment by Feb. 26 and the Vietnamese company was told to continue hosting the tourists.

The tourists returned home on Feb. 14 as scheduled.

Winner International Travel Company was also fined for "violating regulations when providing travel services", although the fine amount has not been announced yet by the Tourism Department of Kien Giang Province.

According to Taiwan News, We Love Tours said Saturday that due to its financial troubles, it was unable to compensate hundreds of travelers who were left stranded in Phu Quoc during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Investigations found that the company has faced financial difficulties and has debts of over NT$10 million ($318,700), according to Focus Taiwan.

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