Authorities in Da Lat, a popular destination for tourists in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, have signposted four types of local brokers as they attempt to achieve better management of intermediaries who have been accused of luring visitors to local farms under false pretenses.
Located in Lam Dong Province, Da Lat is not only famous for its beautiful scenery and mild weather, but also for its variety of specialty produce made and sold by numerous facilities.
Given fierce competition, many sellers have sought the help of intermediaries, whose job is to lure customers to their locations.
However, this practice of brokerage has made a negative impact on the experience of visitors and the overall tourism activity in the city.
To better manage these operations, authorities in Da Lat have classified local brokers into four types.
The first type includes employees of a facility who also act as mediators to promote their own products.
The second involves freelance brokers, who attract tourists to the farms of sellers for a commission.
The third type comprises gang members who force local businesses to pay them a commission after introducing buyers without any prior agreement, and last but not least are drivers of passenger buses, taxis and tour guides who bring passengers to their facilities for a brokerage fee.
With a rise in the number of these intermediaries, several incidents in which brokers have attacked tourists, bus drivers and tour guides have occurred.
According to Vo Ngoc Trinh, vice-chairman of the Da Lat People’s Committee, more regular inspections need to be carried out to deal with all of these brokerage activities in the popular holiday city.
Authorities will also examine whether or not local businesses have been committing violations regarding the prices of their products, Trinh added.
Investigations have revealed that brokers in the city often operate at well-known destinations such as the Love Valley, Da Lat Night Market, Prenn Fall, and Da Lat Flower Garden.
The prime minister has previously requested that local authorities deal with the situation promptly to ensure order, security, and safety for local residents and visitors, and restore the reputation of a tourist-friendly Da Lat.