Vietnam’s tourism authority has asked the central province of Quang Binh to bring entrance fees at its world famous caves back to the original level, following a steep increase heavily protested by travel agencies.
The move came with bad timing, as Vietnam was in the middle of a campaign to boost tourism, the agency said.
Quang Binh should consider increasing the fees at a different time, and even offering discounts to local tourists, it added.
Early this month local tour operators complained about the province’s doubling ticket prices at the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, which boasts a series of caves that have made global headlines since being discovered by a group of British explorers in 2009.
Entrance to Thien Duong (Paradise), for instance, now costs VND125,000 (US$5.83) for children and VND250,000 ($11.67) for adults, compared to VND60,000-120,000 previously.
Ticket prices to Phong Nha and Tien Son caves have also shot from VND40,000-80,000 to VND80,000-150,000.
The province’s authority claimed that they needed more money to maintain the caves.