|Lam Dong Province tourism officials plan to strengthen oversight of adventure tourism following the recent death of three British tourists at Datanla Waterfalls in Da Lat. — Photo baolamdong.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Lam Dong Province tourism officials plan to strengthen oversight of adventure tourism following the recent death of three British tourists at Datanla Waterfalls in Da Lat.
Nguyen Thi Nguyen, director of the province's Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, said inspection teams would review dangerous tourist spots to come up with solutions to prevent hazards. Tourism companies do not scrupulously follow safety regulations.
Mai Viet Dang, the department's chief inspector, said last year the department had to haul up tourist companies five times to remind them about safety, yet some of them failed to follow safety norms.
Lam Dong Tourist Company, which manages the Datanla Waterfalls, said it faces a challenge in getting other tourism companies to co-operate while bringing visitors to the area for adventure tourism.
Tran Thi Hong Nhan, its general director, said her company used to work with other companies, but recently the latter have stopped co-operating and bring visitors to the area without approval.
"When we discover a case, we report to the local police. I cannot punish the companies."
Lam Dong Province has eight companies licensed to operate extreme tours, and most of their customers are from Europe and the US. Due to the intense competition, the companies offer tours at low prices and do not strictly follow safety regulations.
Between July and September last year the department organised several meetings between Lam Dong Tourist Company and the others, where the companies were told to bring tourists to Lam Dong in return for a commission. But they rejected the deal, opting instead for higher profits.
Vo Duc Trung, who has 10 years experience in organising extreme tours, said he is "frightened" to see how some companies organise these tours. Some serve a group of 20 to 30 tourists, but have only two tour guides, he said.
Guides need specific skills to take tourists on adventure tours, but most only have certificates for general tours, not extreme ones.
On Sunday one more foreign tourist was reported dead at Pongour Waterfall in the same province.
According to the police, Viktar Bandarenka, 26, of Belarus drowned in the pool at the foot of the waterfall. — VNS