The authorities of a north-central province, which is home to Son Doong Cave- the world’s current largest grotto, are working to readjust admission fees to some of its tourist attractions.
Truong An Ninh, office chief of Quang Binh Province’s People’s Committee said on Friday that the committee has requested local travel firms to retain the former admission fees to Phong Nha, Thien Duong and Tien Son grottos for contracts signed prior to January 1.
Phong Nha Grotto is one of the most resplendent and most-visited caves in Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park, which is located in the north-central province of Quang Binh.
The park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003.
Ninh added his committee has just received a document from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT,) which requested the province to readjust entry fees to the above-mentioned attractions to avoid undesired effects on the local tourism industry.
The province has also assigned its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to take the fee hike into close consideration to ensure its reasonableness and viability.
The provincial People’s Committee issued a decision on December 22 last year that entry fees to the three grottos would be raised from January 1 onwards.
The fee hike decision, which came at such short notice before the hike came into effect, left local travel firms unable to cope properly.
After the firms voiced their strong reactions regarding the fee raise, VNAT requested the provincial People’s Committee to postpone its implementation by six months and consider keeping last year’s fees for tourist contracts which are signed for the first six months of this year.
The postponement is intended to allow local firms more time to notify their tour operators and clients of the fee raise, and mitigate its adverse effects on firms specializing in outbound tours, the tourism administration noted.
Quang Binh, which is also home to the final resting place of legendary Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, has received 2.5 million visits as of late November last year, a number which is expected to rise to over three million next year.
One of its major highlights is Son Doong Cave, currently the world’s largest, which has drawn a slew of international tourists in its cave exploring tours.
The largest chamber of Son Doong is more than five kilometers long, 200 meters high, and 150 meters wide.