Returning to a scamming destination: insights from Vung Tau, Vietnam

Tuan Phong LyKim Quang YiHilda Hio Fong Fok

International Journal of Tourism Cities


Article publication date: 21 October 2021

Issue publication date: 31 January 2022

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In Vietnam, there is a phenomenon that domestic tourists return to some tourist destinations despite their reputation of tourists being scammed. This study aims to focusses on Vung Tau City in Vietnam as a popular seaside destination to explain this interesting phenomenon.


Thereby, 22 domestic tourists who are repeated visitors and had experienced scams directly and/or indirectly in Vung Tau were interviewed and later took part in a self-evaluation.


The data shows that unreasonable charges, switching products, false reporting and dishonest middle-persons are the major dominant scams in the city. Furthermore, all visitors could be scammed regardless of gender, educational background or age. Even though scams may occur, the city remains to be a popular getaway destination for the Southern part of Vietnam due to its irreplaceable natural resources and visit intention of domestic tourists. The local authority has tried different ways to suppress issues related to tourist scams, however, due to their sociocultural and economic conditions, scams find ways to exist. Under this circumstance, domestic tourists tend to figure out how to handle scams by themselves whilst very few of them rely on the public sector to deal with them.

Practical implications

Finally, some practical strategies and recommendations are given as a reference for the local authority and businesses for long-term tourist business development.


This paper, respectively, investigates the common scams against domestic tourists in Vung Tau, reasons they still return to this destination, and finally, how these visitors attempt to avoid scams.


  • Tourist behaviour
  • Vietnam
  • Familiarity
  • Travel experience
  • Local culture
  • Tourism management
  • Domestic tourists
  • Repeated visit
  • Tourist scams
  • Vung Tau city


Ly, T.P., Yi, K.Q. and Fok, H.H.F. (2022), “Returning to a scamming destination: insights from Vung Tau, Vietnam”, International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 107-124.