Travel agents reject Vietnam’s high sightseeing costs

Popular destinations such as Ha Long, Hue and Da Lat have been hiking entrance prices, which travel agencies worry will push tourists away.

For the new year, Quang Binh Province government in central Vietnam doubled ticket prices at Phong Nha – Ke Bang Park.

Entrance to Thien Duong (Paradise), which some consider the world’s most beautiful cave, now costs VND125,000 (US$5.83) for children and VND250,000 ($11.67) for adults, compared to the old prices of VND60,000-120,000.

Tickets to Phong Nha and Tien Son caves also shot from VND40,000-80,000 to VND80,000-150,000.

Nguyen Van My, the general director of Lua Viet Tourism Company, said his firm received an email about the new prices just the day before they went into effect.

“We signed contracts with our customers months ago. Suddenly ticket price hikes will make it extremely hard to arrange our tours,” My said.

He said the ticket price hikes at Thien Duong Cave will cost his company VND30 million (nearly US$1,400) on its existing contracts.

Quang Binh government said they need more money to maintain the caves, which became internationally renown after being explored by members of the British Caving Research Association.

For the same reason, Ha Long Bay also doubled prices at the beginning of this year while Lao Cai Province, home to Sa Pa, tripled prices earlier.

Authorities in Dalat have doubled the entrance fee at nearly every tourist destination since November 2014.

Thua Thien-Hue Province also plans to raise entrance prices to the Hue Former Imperial Palace this April from VND30,000-105,000 apiece to VND60,000-210,000.

Tickets to other relic sites in town will also be increased.

du lich quang binh Ho Chi Minh City is thinking about doing the same for its museums, which have been rarely visited except for the War Museum that is so far free to locals.

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