The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association has proposed a recent increase in admission fees at the world famous Ha Long Bay be halted, as it is upsetting tourists and travel firms alike.
In its letters to the Vietnam National Administration and the northern province of Quang Ninh's authorities on Monday, the association said many tourists booked tours to Ha Long at the beginning of this year, a long time before the increase was announced.
Local travel companies are in trouble, as many services have increased prices wildly, making tours in Vietnam more expensive than those in other countries, it stressed.
Moreover, the fact that Quang Ninh's authorities increased the prices almost right after the bay was named on the preliminary list of seven new natural wonders of the world by the Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation will draw criticisms, causing Vietnam's tourism industry to gain a bad reputation, it said.
According to the association, if the provincial authorities need to raise fees, they should consider a reasonable adjustment accompanied service improvements.
Previously, Quang Ninh's authorities announced that from December 1, visitors to Ha Long Bay will pay between VND40,000 and VND100,000 (US$1.9-4.7) each, depending on the sightseeing route they choose.
Tourists are also asked to pay for the whole route as a package ticket, instead of buying admission to individual sites.