Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged a permanent solution to the sale of overpriced jams in Da Lat, a popular tourist town in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.
The Government Office released a statement on Monday, quoting the premier’s order to deal with the so-called ‘jam brokers’ who leave a bad impression on visitors to the famous destination.
Jam is a well-known specialty of Da Lat, often produced from strawberries grown at local farms.
“The Lam Dong People’s Committee must deal with the situation to ensure security, social order, and the safety of tourists, and to restore the reputation of local tourism,” PM Phuc said in the document.
The directive comes after recent reports of tourists being scammed by dishonest jam sellers and being tricked into buying the products by intermediaries.
In the most recent case, Tran Ngoc Bich, a visitor to Da Lat, was assaulted by owners of a jam shop named Bang Nhu after demanding a refund.
Ngoc was initially approached by a mediator and agreed to buy a bottle of juice in order to visit the shop’s strawberry farm.
During her visit, fruit was offered to the tourist at a much more expensive price than what the mediator had promised.
Upon realizing the scam, Ngoc tried to return the juice bottle before being yelled at and beaten by the owners.
Three similar cases have been reported since 2013, with dishonest farm operators employing intermediaries to scout for tourists at local bus stations and other attractions.
The scam is often carried out on Mai Anh Dao, Phu Dong Thien Vuong, and Nguyen Tu Luc Streets, close to well-known attractions such as the Love Valley and Dream Hill.
Prior to the prime minister’s order, the Lam Dong administration had asked the provincial Department of Police to tighten security at these hotspots to crack down on the operations of ‘jam mediators’ and other intermediaries generally.
The province’s Department of Health was also asked to increase the supervision of food safety measures in the area.