Vietnam suspends 2 more adventure spots, a month after fatal accidents of foreigners
Tourists jump off the Datanla waterfall in Da Lat, Lam Dong Province, located in Vietnam's Central Highlands.
Authorities in Lam Dong have pulled the plug on two adventure game venues over safety reasons, one month after four foreign tourists died in two separate accidents in the Central Highlands province.
The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism have decided to suspend the zipline and trekking activities at two waterfalls, Ankoet and Hang Cop (Tiger Cave), the department’s inspectors announced on Thursday.
Ankoet is located in Lac Duong District, whereas Hang Cop is in the provincial capital city of Da Lat.
The game operator at Ankoet had all of the equipment used for ziplining and climbing down the waterfall seized, according to inspectors.
In the meantime, the activity at Hang Cop was suspended because the equipment in use is uncertified.
Earlier this month, the tourism inspectors also cracked down on two adventure sites in Da Lat as the operator, Mao Hiem Viet Co., did not have a license, although it had been offering the service for a decade before being detected.
All of the three crackdowns were mounted as part of a large-scale inspection of 25 major tourist attractions across the province by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in the wake of two accidents that killed four foreign tourists in Da Lat late February.
On February 26, three British tourists were swept down the Datanla waterfall during a trekking tour, while a Belarusian vacationer was found dead downstream from the Pongour cascade two days later.
Da Lat Passion Travel - Service Co. Ltd., which offered the tour package to the deceased British vacationers, was suspended shortly after the fatal accident.
The deaths of the foreign tourists have prompted tourism authorities in Lam Dong to review the operations of adventure games in the province, at a time when the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has yet to have an official set of standards for such a kind of tourism.
“We will issue a set of temporary rules while waiting for the official regulations from the ministry,” Nguyen Thi Nguyen, director of the Lam Dong tourism department, said on Thursday.
The interim move is to enable local travel firms to offer adventure tourism packages to their customers, as it is evident that this kind of tourism is attractive, while Lam Dong also has the potential to develop it.
Tourism authorities in Lam Dong now have plans to visit their counterparts in the central province of Quang Binh, known for a vast cave system including the world-renowned Phong Nha and Son Doong, to learn from their experience, Nguyen revealed.
“We want to learn from them to prepare a legal framework and effective supervisory mechanism for adventure tourism,” she said.
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