Mai Tien Dung, deputy director of Ha Noi's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, spoke to Kinh Te va Do Thi (Economy & Urban Affairs) newspaper about a new tourist complaints procedure.
What hotline numbers can tourists call?
Starting August 1, there are two hotline numbers. Between 8am and 10pm tourists can call 04 3926 1515 and there is the cell phone number 094 679 1955 for after 10pm.
The Department has also published information related to the hotline numbers through various information channels and publications, such as the Department's tourism website, travel magazines, information booths in Noi Bai airport and within Hoan Kiem District.
How are staff members co-ordinated to handle the complaints?
I'm the head of the steering committee on supporting tourists and will co-ordinate the hotlines. We also have inspectors, tourism management officers and staff from the bureau on managing accommodation services and tourism promotion centres.
Staff will receive and manage information from 8am to 10pm on a daily basis and after that we have one person on call to take calls after 10pm.
How are other departments involved?
To run this for 24 hours a day, we obviously have to co-ordinate with other departments. We will work with city police and officers from district, ward and town level, as well as the Transport Department, Taxi Association and market management officers.
I believe co-ordination with other agencies is critical to ensure violations are pointed out accurately and punished accordingly. We want to make sure tourists are protected at all times and reduce the number of tourists suffering harassment.
What punishments can be administered and how quickly will people receive help?
The level of punishment depends on each case. If tourists meet trouble and need immediate assistance, we will work with inspectors from the Ha Noi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies to dispatch help.
Are all prices now clearly displayed in tourism spots?
All shops that have been inspected by the department are allowed to have signs on their shops indicating they meet requirements for serving tourists. The list of these locations can be found on the website: www.hanoi-tourism.gov.vn.
Furthermore, all major shopping centres such as Big C, Vincom and Hapro supermarkets have prices clearly listed.
In the near future, the department will continue working to ensure more stores and shops can meet the standards and be certified as quality service providers.
What are your expectations for this hotline?
We hope that after a while, the hotline and other tourism supporting agencies will improve services and reduce current problems by encouraging tourists to stay longer and create a sustainable tourism environment.
If done properly, this will also contribute to improving the capital's image as a friendly, attractive destination, while continuing our commitment to protect tourists' rights. — VNS