Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NINH — The People’s Committee of northern Quảng Ninh Province’s Hạ Long City has suspended operations of six tourist cruise boats in Hạ Long and Bái Tử Long bays.
The boats will no longer be used for sightseeing rides and overnight stays, the committee said.
Five of the six banned boats, coded Hùng Long QN-1156, Hoa Phượng 02 QN-4239, White Dolphine QN-4894, Sunrise QN-2287 and Aphrodite 11 QN-6299, had been damaged by fire in the 2014-16 period.
The remaining one has been phased out under the provincial People’s Committee’s streamlining policy for ship crews.
There have been several boat fires in recent years, which have affected the province’s reputation among tourists. This decision is the province’s first step in regaining its position.
The latest incident took place on Sunday night, when the cabin of a wooden boat, coded Huy Lộc QN 3883, burst into flames. It was the third fire since the beginning of this year.
This wooden boat would also stop operating, though it was not as damaged as the others, said Hồ Quang Huy, vice-chairman of the People’s Committee of Hạ Long City.
The committee has also decided to temporarily ban a boat, coded Hải Phong 08 QN-3006, which is operated by Hải Phong Company Limited, to investigate allegations about violation of rules on transporting tourists.
The company owns nine other boats, including four overnight cruisers and five tourist cruise boats, and their ownership is to be transferred to other firms.
Phạm Hồng Hà, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee and head of Hạ Long Bay’s management board, said he suspected that a number of overnight cruisers were not paying fees for sightseeing and overnight stays on the bay. “We have started investigations,” he said. “Those found violating rules will be banned from operating boats.” — VNS