Reports from leading travel firms in HCM City show that nearly 40,000 bookings for tour packages, free and easy tours, hotels, air tickets and travel services have been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19.
Customers have mostly dropped tours to the central city of Da Nang while tours to other popular tourist destinations such as Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang city, Da Lat city and Hanoi in August and September have also been cancelled.
Nguyen Thi Khanh, deputy director of the HCM City Association of Tourism, said travel firms have been hit hard by many tour cancellations due to fears over the recurrence of COVID-19.
Most customers have requested 100% refunds for paid expenses, and only a few have agreed to schedule their trips at a later date.
Many travel firms have made payments to airlines, transport companies, hotels and restaurants, and are not receiving refunds from them, Khanh said.
Many travel firms have seen losses because they have not received refunds for deposits or service payments for airlines, transporters, accommodations and catering services, but have given refunds to their customers.
Airline and tourism service providers have been encouraged not to fine travel firms for tour cancellations and postponement, and offer them refunds.
Khanh also called on customers to share losses with travel firms by accepting postponement of their trips instead of asking for cancellations and full refunds.
Hoang Van Vinh, chairman of Khanh Hoa province’s Tourism Association, said the association had sent notes to tourism service providers in the province, asking them to give refunds to travel firms and remove penalties for breach of contracts.