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VNAT proposes Halong Bay ticket price rise freeze

Local tourism authorities have called for the northern province of Quang Ninh to postpone their anticipated 50%-100% ticket price increase for tourists visiting Halong Bay.

Since the tourist attraction was nominated as one of the temporary seven new wonders of the world, the price increase has been on the cards.

“We think ticket prices should not be adjusted at this time but only when we receive an official response from the HCMC Tourism Association can we work with the local authority regarding the issue,” explained Nguyen Quy Phuong, head of the Travel Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Phuong noted that the sudden price rise makes it difficult for local travel agencies to adjust prices which have been fixed for a long time.

He also believes that tourists will be offended at the price hike.

“Quang Ninh should choose another time when it is more suitable for a ticket price hike to avoid offending tourists as well as mapping out specific steps in preparation for the price change,” he added.

After Quang Ninh authority informed of the new ticket price, the HCMC Tourism Association on Monday sent a petition to related agencies, asking for the suspension of the price hike.

Based on several proposals from industry players, the Vietnam Tourism Association has also sent the same request to Quang Ninh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Quang Ninh Tourism Association and VNAT. The association reckoned that the province should have referred to ideas of related agencies before increasing the price.

The association warned that the unexpected price spike will damage the prestige of the local tourism industry, maybe causing customers to cancel booked tours.

Therefore, it suggested delaying applying the new fee until the end of June next year and at the same time asked tourism associations to work out a long-term plan including a tourism fee to turn Halong Bay into the leading tourist destination in the country.

SGT

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