Vietnam travel firm fined after nearly 300 Taiwanese tourists stranded in Phu Quoc

By Tu Nguyen   February 15, 2024 | 06:11 pm PT
Vietnam travel firm fined after nearly 300 Taiwanese tourists stranded in Phu Quoc
Stranded Taiwanese tourists arrive at Phu Quoc International Airport on Feb. 14 2024 to fly home. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Dung
Winner International Travel Company has been fined for "violating regulations when providing travel services" after 292 Taiwanese tourists it was contracted to serve were stranded on Phu Quoc Island.

The fine amount has not been announced yet by the Tourism Department of Kien Giang Province, home to Phu Quoc.

The Phu Quoc-based company had a contract with Taiwanese travel company We Love Tour on Sept. 12 last year.

After receiving a deposit of 700,000 TWD (US$22,317) on Jan. 18, the Vietnamese company sent a price quote to the Taiwanese partner. However, both then could not reach an agreement about the prices.

On Jan. 31, the Vietnamese travel agency sent a notice to stop providing services to the partner but there was no confirmation or response from it.

Despite halting the cooperation, it still kept the deposit.

On Feb. 9, the group of Taiwanese tourists arrived at Phu Quoc International Airport where there were no vehicles and hotels waiting for them.

A representative of We Love Tour contacted with the Vietnamese company to take care of the visitors.

The Vietnamese company requested an additional payment of $720 per person.

We Love Tour asked the group to pay, keep the invoice to be refunded when they returned to Taiwan. However, only 90 of them agreed.

The Kien Giang’s Department of Tourism said Winner Company had violated regulations when providing travel services as "it still kept the deposit, serving the group of tourists and collecting service fees despite unilaterally terminating the contract."

Bui Quoc Thai, director of the tourism department, said it would continue to collect information and evidence to clarify issues related to the responsibilities of the two companies, leading to the loss of tourists' rights and affecting the tourism image of Phu Quoc and Vietnam.

The stranded tourists flew home on charter flights on Feb. 14.

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