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Tour vouchers: the cheapest is the dearest

While tour vouchers have become too familiar to travelers in developed countries, they still have been refused by Vietnamese travelers, who believe that the cheapest is the dearest.

Tour vouchers have not been favored in Vietnam, despite their great advantages. Being considered a kind of pre-paid card, the biggest advantage of vouchers is that they allow travelers to enjoy good services, stay at high quality rooms, though they only pay 50 percent of the quoted tour fees or 70 percent of the prices quoted by travel agents.
Vouchers are hoped by travel firms to help promote tourism, because the offered low costs would attract more buyers. However, the unprofessional way of providing services has made travelers turn their back to vouchers.
Pham Thanh Thuy in Bach Dang Ward of Hai Ba Trung district complained that she has experienced terrible days during a recent tour.
Two weeks ago, Thuy bought 3 vouchers for the two-night stay at a 3-star hotel in Hoi An ancient town, which cost VND1.35 million per night. She was told that this would be a high grade large room with the view into the beach.
However, only when Thuy and her family members came to the hotel, did she realize that the room she booked was a standard room with small area with no view into the beach.
Thuy decided to make complaints to the manager of the hotel and she was explained that under the contracts signed between the hotel and the firms that provide vouchers to clients, the hotel only provides standard rooms.
And Thuy was told that if she wanted better rooms, she would have to pay an extra sum of VND500,000 per night.
“I think there is a discrimination in the treatment to the clients who use vouchers and the other normal travelers,” Thuy complained. “I had to wait two hours to get my room, while it took me much time to explain to the receptionist and the hotel’s workers.”
“The lesson I have learnt is that one should not use travel vouchers, because most of the service providers just “cry wine and sell vinegar,”” she said.
Bui The Anh, a worker of a civil engineering firm, also said he has “tasted bitterness” when buying vouchers for a tour to Mui Ne last May holiday.
When Anh came to the hotel where he booked rooms, he was told that the hotel ran out of rooms. The receptionist promised to arrange rooms for him at another hotel, advertising that this was a good hotel with good service quality.
However, he could not receive the good quality as promised. Finally, Anh decided to pay extra money to get a better room, because he did not want to spend time arguing with the service providers.
According to Anh, in fact, the preferences promised by the voucher suppliers are only applied in low sale season, when the number of travelers decreases. Especially, the hotels where voucher travelers stay are mostly the less prestigious ones, with low quality of services, or the hotels located far from the center.
“You think you can save money when you use vouchers. But in fact, your tours would be even dearer, because you would have to pay more money to hotels,” Anh said.
An Ninh Thu Do
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