HCMC – A suspension by Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic to issue visas to Vietnamese holding new blue-violet passports has delivered a blow to travel firms specializing in tours to Europe.
Tran Thi Minh Thao, deputy general director of Hong Ngoc Ha Travel, said the firm was supposed to take 10 groups of tourists to Europe in September, including France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Greece. However, among these destinations, two nations do not recognize the newly-designed version of Vietnamese passport which does not have the “Place of Birth” field as seen in the old version.
“The firm is keeping a close watch on responses from other European countries to update customers with information, reschedule tours and change itineraries,” said Thao.
Ngo Van Thoa, director of Pan American Travel, also expressed concerns over scheduled tours to Europe, saying his firm has changed the itinerary of its weekly tours from HCMC and Hanoi to European nations — Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Ngoc Toan, director of Image Travel & Events, said the visa issuance suspension on those holding the new version of passport had never been seen before.
The firm will make refunds to customers, change itineraries or reschedule tours to Germany and Spain if its customers have the passports that have been issued since early July this year, said Toan, adding that these measures will lead to revenue losses.
Facing the same fate, Vietravel is rescheduling tours and advising its customers to change itineraries so they will be not affected by the unexpected event.