The Datanla Falls in Da Lat has suspended all adventure tours pending an investigation into the death of three British tourists Friday reportedly while climbing down the fall without proper safety equipment.
Nguyen Van Quang, who supervises tour guides at travel firm Dalat Tourist, which manages Datanla, said all adventure tour services have been put on hold during the investigation and safety equipment would be reviewed.
Quang said the deaths were a big shock and tour guides also need time to recover.
Da Lat with its many waterfalls and lakes has been a favorite destination for adventure tourists offering water rafting, canyoning and zip-lining.
Quang said the services started booming around 10 years ago.
But the deaths of the three British tourists raise a question about safety management, he said.
“They booked a trekking tour but were then allowed to enter the falls. That was unprofessional tour organization.”
Preliminary investigation suggests that the three victims – 25-year-old man Christian Sloan and two women Izzy Squire, 19, and Beth Anderson, 25 -- were descending the fall without ropes when they slipped and died after hitting rocks.
The tour guide traveling with the three has been questioned but not detained. He blamed the victims for ignoring his warnings when he told them to leave the falls.
His company has been shut down pending the investigation.
Vo Duc Trung, director of a local adventure tour provider, said tour guides have to force tourists to stick to a planned routine instead of changing it “randomly.”
Mai Viet Dang, chief tourism inspector of Lam Dong Province, said adventure tours are attractive but come with risks, which some local tour providers do not take seriously. Some still operate without licenses or use low-quality equipment.
“The truth is adventure tour providers take human life lightly.”