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May 16, 2014

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Local tours to Vietnam hit by riots

SEVERAL local travel agencies have canceled tours to Vietnam in response to the recent anti-China riots in the country.

Shanghai Spring International Travel Service, which had more than 100 tourists in Vietnam yesterday, said it had decided to cancel all charter flights to the country until June 16, and will offer full refunds.

Even before the decision was taken to cancel the trips, many tourists had backed out of the trips, the company said, adding that it will shoulder the full cost of the cancellations.

The Chinese tourists who are already in Vietnam are likely  safe as they are located in and around the popular destination of Da Nang where there are no reports of riots.

It will, however, maintain daily contact with local agents to ensure their well-being.

Online travel site Tongcheng said it too has canceled several planned group tours to Vietnam due to safety concerns. Anyone affected has been offered a refund, it said.

Lvmama, which is also Internet-based, said despite usually receiving 20 to 30 requests for information about trips to Vietnam per day, it had not had any at all this week.

Shanghai Datong Travel Agency, which had 29 tourists in Vietnam as of yesterday, said it has advised people there to be extra cautious.

Tourists have been told to stay inside their hotels wherever possible, though if they need to go out they should avoid any areas affected by riots, it said.

The company added that it  has not received any reports of problems, nor have any of its customers witnessed any riots.

Online travel firm Ctrip said none of its tour groups have been affected by the problems in Vietnam, but it is keeping in close contact with its local contacts.

The China National Tourism Administration on Wednesday warned tourists planning to visit Vietnam to exercise extreme caution.

The number of Shanghai residents taking organized group tours to Vietnam fell 34 percent last year to 30,153 after two years of significant growth, the city’s tourism administration had said earlier.


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