Minh Phuong from Hanoi and his family were supposed to go on a four-day-two-night holiday in Phu Quoc on August 2. They had paid for everything months ago and the new outbreak in Danang has made them worried.
"I'm considering cancelling the trip. It's not small amount of money and everyone was very eager and they had to arrange their jobs and time for it," he said.
Minh Hue from Hanoi also said she was trying to cancel a VND8m tour to Con Dao in early August. However, the tour agency said her case was difficult because Con Dao is not in the outbreak area or has to be implemented social distancing rules. The agent proposed to postpone the trip or else she will lose the money.
Luong Duy Doanh, director of Fivestar Travel, said after the outbreak in Danang, they have received many requests to cancel tours, including to locations that do not have outbreaks like Quy Nhon, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang. As of now, they have received 200 requests.
"We offered customers alternative plans but they refused and only wanted a refund. This is really hard and a huge loss for us. We have to make deposit or advance payments for our partners for months," he said. "We are still operating tours to other destinations but with stronger preventive measures."
According to Doanh, their airline and hotel partners only agree to change the date and would not provide refunds. If a tour is cancelled, the tour agency may even have to pay fines for their customers.
Phung Xuan Khanh, director of Tien Phong Tour Company, said they could help customers to postpone the date, change location or reserve the trip. Customers will have to pay fines if they cancel tours not regulated by emergencies.
The number of registered domestic tours dropped by 70-80%.
Nguyen Quy Phuong, director of the Tourism Department, said customers should remain calm and everything is in the contract. Tour agencies and accommodation facilities should follow all preventive measures even when they are not in the outbreak areas.
Each tour agencies have their own refund policy. Normally, when a customer cancels a tour five to 10 days before the departure date, they will have to pay 30-50% of the package price. They will lose all money if they cancel the tour less than three days before the departure. If the tour agencies cancel the tours, they will have to pay for all the charges.