The chief of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has sent a letter of apology to a female visitor from Australia, expressing his regret for her “horror trip” in Vietnam.
Director General Nguyen Van Tuan issued a message in attention to Lynne Ryan, the Australian victim who had unfortunately experienced poor services provided by a Vietnamese tour operator and reported it on her Facebook.
The Australian lady booked a two-day-one-night trip for six people to Ha Long Bay earlier this month after being shown a glossy brochure of a luxurious cruise ship, but it turned out to be a nightmare and thrilled the tourist group.
Headlining her experience “Horror trip, Halong Bay,” Ryan said she had a “junk boat” riddled with rats, cockroaches, filthy toilets, broken doors and air-con and 'rock hard' beds.
Furthermore, Vietnam's authorities found the Australian travelers were actually taken to Hai Phong's Cat Ba Island to the south of Ha Long since the cruise had been banned from the bay since August 2017 and moved to nearby waters in neighboring Hai Phong City.
Ryan’s post also drew the attention from many news outlets who published the story later, causing the reputation of Vietnamese tourism to be damaged.
In the letter, Tuan firstly addressed his gratitude to Ryan for timely giving an account of her trip.
The official apologized on behalf of the Spring Travel Angecy, based in Hanoi, which sold Ryan the luxury cruise package.
Tuan also informed the Australian holidaymaker that VNAT has suspended the cruise ship and penalized the illicit tour operator with strict punishment.
“We [VNAT] have conducted inspections on cruise ships to prevent any incident like yours from happening,” one line from the letter reads.
At the end of the message, Tuan expressed his hope to welcome Ryan and her friends back to Vietnam with an offer of a cruise to Ha Long and other tourist destinations.